Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bicycle-mounted sensors & the future of democratic, low-cost sustainability

This is really cool. This is an example of how technology, properly diffused, can help us figure out ways to live more sustainably.

I really hope my mechanical engineering friend Seth posts a comment on this thread that points us in the direction of his ongoing work involving the design of buildings and urban areas to be more in accord with environmental processes. His work involves finding ways to measure both the indoor environments of multi-storied buildings and the local environments created as a result of urban infrastructure.

Seth: I encourage you to read this as a gauntlet thrown.


1 comment:

  1. Duly noted, the gauntlet has been thrown.
    Is this where I say "it's merely a flesh wound", draw my verbal blade and begin hacking away?

    My name is Seth Moody I am a student of Mechanical Engineer at Portland State University and work at the newly created (PSU, State of Oregon and Federally funded) Green Building Research Laboratory. Study of the built environment is the primary focus of the Green Building Research Laboratory.

    Why do we care about the built environment and why should you???

    In North America 40% of of our energy consumption occurs in buildings (residential + commercial). Thats a crazy big number and continues to rise while Transportation (28%) and Industry (32%) have begun to decrease, (see http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/pdf/pages/sec2_4.pdf).

    Note: The Obama administration has released lots of great information and a re-invigorated Department of Energy (DOE) has provided a central point for energy/census information at the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

    Yes, robust, cheap, real-time data collection technology (such as the example previously mentioned at http://www.vigorousnorth.com/2009/12/using-bikes-and-social-web-for.html). What is even more important is getting folks willing to set up the secure/peer-reviewed automated data crunching, publicly accessible databases necessary to visualize all this new information. The social network would seem to be a natural place for the data collection work to occur. Data review and crunching might occur at the social network level but would need very robust standards and procedures if the resultant information was used and believed by the public, industry, academia, researchers and designers.