Sustainability and behavioural change
The Manchester City Council, the University of Manchester and the Manchester Metropolitan University are involved in a number of sustainability initiatives. Manchester-I aims to provide the actors involved in such initiatives with a corpus of data that can guide and enhance their activities.
A possible way in which data can be used in this context is to create awareness and engage people in behavioral change initiatives, where the impact of their choices can be easily monitored and acknowledged. An example is the creation of contests where the occupant of different buildings can see how they are doing in terms of energy consumption with respects to other buildings. The map below shows the half-hourly energy consumption of some buildings of UoM. The colour of the circles represents the amount of energy consumed in the last half-hour, while the radius represents the energy consumption per unit of area, allowing for a fairer comparison between buildings of different size.
Services for the commuters
There are a number of datasets that can be used to improve different aspects of mobility and commuters' driving experience. This data spans from car-park availability to charging-points location and load.
Applications can be created that leverage on these data sources allowing drivers to navigate the city more efficiently.
An example would be an application that guides the choice that EV's drivers make about where to park and charge their car, depending on the free-space availability of different carparks and the load of different charging points.
By means of example, the map below shows the free space availability of different car-parks across Manchester. The radius of the circle represents the number of free-spaces currently available, while the colour represents the state of the carpark (Green: open with free spaces available - Red: close / full - Grey: unknown).
Dashboards and easy accessibility
One of the benefits of open data consists of its unrestricted accessibility, and one of the most powerful way of providing such accessibility is through graphical means. The creation of dashboards that focus on specific data-sets can greatly benefit the many kinds of data users; from common citizens who have at heart some particular aspect of the city livability, to city officers who need to make informed policies and monitor the impact of such policies.
By means of example, the dashboard below shows the hourly air-quality data coming form the monitoring station located in Piccadilly Gardens. Please, note that although the level of the pollutants is measured every hour, the readings may take longer than an hour (usually a couple of hours) to become available.