The Data-Driven EnviroLab will be hosting the webinar “Cities on the Sustainability Frontlines: Measuring Social Inclusion and Environmental Performance” from 10:00 – 11:30 am EST on Thursday, July 14. This briefing will introduce key insights and highlights from the 2022 update through presentations and a roundtable discussion with the Data-Driven EnviroLab research team, as well as practitioner perspectives. Register for the event here: https://unc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ku3Lc8IWREKojHg2yHEqMg
The Urban Environment and Social Inclusion Index is a research effort to provide the data that urban residents, city managers, and policymakers need to understand their cities’ performance on critical urban environmental issues. Incorporating novel geospatial approaches including remotely-sensed data and open-source datasets (such as OpenStreetMap), the Index is the first urban index that spatially maps environmental performance within cities around the world and reveals how these cities perform on sustainable, inclusive urban growth.
10:00-10:05 AM WELCOME REMARKS — ANGEL HSU
10:05-10:15 AM REFLECTION ON CITIES AND SOCIAL INCLUSION — KIM SAMUEL
10:15-10:30 AM UESI 2022 KEY FINDINGS — XUEWEI WANG
10:30-10:40 AM CITY PERSPECTIVE: LAURA BALLESTEROS, MONTERREY, MEXICO
10:40-10:50 AM CASE STUDY – UTILIZING HIGH-RESOLUTION CITIZEN-SCIENCE DATA TO COMBAT URBAN HEAT – NICOLE GODDARD, CITY OF RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
10:50-10:55 AM CASE STUDY – HIGH-RESOLUTION HEAT MAPPING IN MONTREAL – TUVIERE OKOME, MONTREAL, CANADA
10:55-11:10 AM PANEL DISCUSSION – MODERATED BY ANGEL HSU
10:10-11:30 AM Q&A SESSION
Dr. Angel Hsu is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and the Environment, Ecology and Energy Program (E3P) at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She is the founder and director of the Data-Driven EnviroLab, which uses data analytics to develop environmental policy solutions. Dr. Hsu’s research explores the intersection of science and policy and the use of data-driven approaches to understanding environmental sustainability, particularly in climate change and energy, urbanization, and air quality.
An activist and educator, Kim Samuel is the founder and chief belonging officer of the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness; visiting scholar at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, University of Oxford; the Fulbright Canada ambassador for diversity and social connectedness; and author of the forthcoming book, On Belonging: Finding Connection in an Age of Isolation.
Xuewei Wang is a data scientist at the Data-Driven EnviroLab. Xuewei’s professional experience includes building machine learning models for precision agriculture, land-cover-land-use classification, leveraging multispectral optical and radar sensor data on the environment problem-solving, and geospatial data API development. She is an expert in applying remote sensing data to environmental issues and Google Earth Engine. She is developing a java-script-based application for the Urban Environment and Social Inclusion Index.
Laura Ballesteros is a substitute Senator for the period 2018-2024 and Secretary for Sustainable Urban Development of the City of Monterrey. As a political scientist, regulator and urban activist, She is an expert in sustainable mobility, transport-oriented development, road safety, citizen incidents, and open governance. With 15 years of experience, she specializes in scaling and designing sustainable public policies, gender and childhood perspectives, multilateral cooperation, citizen participation processes, strategic planning, high-level management, and implementation management.
Nicole Goddard is the Sustainability Analyst for the City of Raleigh. Since 2018, She has been conducting policy research for Raleigh’s Office of Sustainability, specifically in resilience and equity for COR programs and plans. She has also assisted in designing and implementing a series of programs, including the Community-wide Climate Action Plan, Ready Raleigh Emergency Preparedness Guide, Raleigh Water freeFILL Program, and the Sustainable Events Guide.
Tuviere Onookome-Okome is a McGill epidemiology graduate who has joined DDL as an Environmental Epidemiology Researcher as well as a Senior Researcher for the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness (SCSC). She is working on our Urban Environment and Social Inclusion Program and is interested in exploring the link between the built environment and mental health. She previously worked as a fellow at SCSC where she explored the relationship between socio-economic status and heat exposure in the different neighborhoods in Montreal.
Key Areas of Discussions
- Purpose of UESI: How is the UESI index different from other urban indices? What types of data is UESI using to draw variated insights?
- Key findings and Analysis: How are the old 162 cities adjusting their policies over the past years and how are their performances this year? What are the performances of the newly-added cities, and how are they doing in terms of urban sustainability and climate equity?
- Applications of UESI: How could the UESI Index be used to help improve environmental policies, keep track of each city’s sustainable progress, and bring climate equity and justice to everyone?
- Related DDL Research Progress: How are DDL making progress in the relevant research area such as urban heat?
Founded by Prof. Angel Hsu in 2016, Data-Driven EnviroLab is a research group based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an interdisciplinary collaboration of policy experts, data scientists, visual designers, and interactive programmers. With a focus on sustainability and climate policy, DDL’s mission is to use cutting-edge data analytics to create solutions to the world’s environmental problems.
DDL’s Progress in 2021
Joining forces with policy experts and data scientists around the world, DDL has published over ten papers in the past year. Partnering with the NC Museum of Life and Science, DDL launched the HeatWatch campaign in August 2021 to collect high-resolution data on urban heat and thermal comfort. In October 2021, DDL released the Net Zero Tracker Report to keep stock on the non-state net zero progress. As a result, DDL was granted $500,000 by the Carnegie Corporation for Climate Action Data 2.0 and received the IKEA Foundation Award for the Global Climate Action Report.