Article exploring the possibilities opened up by an American group of scientists who have developed a technology for mapping carbon emissions at street level.

What Dreams are Made Of

For many years, we have had maps that show us carbon emissions on a country-by-country basis. We have also had the advent of energy assessments that can evaluate each building individually and give it a score or ranking based on how energy efficient it is.

Never, until now, has there been a model to monitor and map carbon emissions on a street-by-street basis. The development unveiled by American scientists at Arizona State University will, in the long term, enable the monitoring of emissions in terms of commercial and industrial buildings, residential dwellings, and can even calculate which cities or localities are worst hit by traffic emissions.

This is clearly an exciting development for businesses, individuals, and Governments around the world who are closely invested in the evolution of the environment. What are the possibilities such a technological innovation could give to the world?


Clearly the biggest advantage to the widespread use of such a tool will be holding those responsible for high carbon emissions to account. Of course, there will be a lot more to it than simply hauling each and every person or business up in front of an environmental authority and beating them over the head with the fact that they are responsible for high carbon emissions.

While accountability is the purpose, this tool will be much better used as an aid to help those responsible for high emissions to understand how they are causing an environmental problem and what they can do going forward in order to lessen their impact.

Money Well Spent

Anytime an authority spends money on new development, a question is asked. While the line of questioning rightfully extends far beyond environmental matters, there will now be much greater authority behind plans and the execution of them, especially as there will be a clear forum for viewing the results of such projects.

Large corporation moves into town and claims to be the most energy efficient, carbon positive building in the city – now they’ll have to prove it rather than trotting out big words and hyperbole designed to dazzle and sound good.

Local authorities will also be able to plan much better, too, and identify where their environmental budget may be most productively spent, for example.

Clean Living

Perhaps the biggest immediate impact will revolve around when this model is first implemented in cities across the world. Straight away, cities that are renowned for their environmental reputation, such as Calgary in Canada, will have clear proof that what they are doing works, and be held up as the clear blueprint for how all towns and cities around the world should be taking care of the environment.

High carbon emissions and high pollution without a solution could well soon be a thing of the past. Exciting times are on the horizon for anyone with environmental concerns.