New environmental project logs pollution, neighborhood by neighborhood, house by house

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Want to give yourself a major guilt trip for destroying the environment? A new project will release the street-by-street, building-by-building CO2 emissions for cities to help people identify where the pollution is actually coming from.

Dubbed the Hestia Project, so far only Indianapolis has been mapped, but Phoenix and Los Angeles are in the works — and the visualization isn't quite yet done, either. You can see an example of what the data will look like above, with more examples on the website. The data itself is gathered from the Vulcan Project, air pollution reports, traffic information, and more.

"Cities have had little information with which to guide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions — and you can't reduce what you can't measure," said Kevin Gurney, an associate professor in ASU's School of Life Sciences and senior scientist with the Global Institute of Sustainability, in a press statement. "With Hestia, we can provide cities with a complete, three-dimensional picture of where, when and how carbon dioxide emissions are occurring."


The research behind the project is set to be published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, but the team has released the paper online first. As you can see from the image, for a relatively spread-out city like Indianapolis, the major culprits are non-residential buildings and vehicles. It'll be interesting to see if the same holds true for more dense cities, too.