Unique carbon model lets residents predict city's future emissions
Welcome to Palmerston North! The year is 2050 and the city has changed over the past 30 years, but how is Palmy performing on climate change?
A City Carbon Model developed by Palmerston North City Council is putting residents in control, letting them decide how the city will be performing on its yearly emissions 30 years from now.
The "climate calculator" presents different policy choices and economic changes to let users explore how changes to transport, land use, industry, buildings, and energy will impact the city's overall yearly carbon emissions.
Senior climate change adviser Adam Jarvis says the model helps residents to understand the city's emissions in context.
"As users make decisions on different outputs, such as travel demand or solar power, the 3D model will reflect those decisions by showing less cars on the road or more buildings with solar panels," Mr Jarvis says.
"The model provides an interactive way for the people of Palmy to reflect on how they think the city will change over the next 30 years and how those changes will affect our city's carbon outputs."
Data from the City Carbon Model will be collected by council and used to develop a road map towards a low carbon future for the city.
"We want to know what residents think the critical touchpoints for carbon emissions in the city are, and that information will tell us where, as a council, we should be focusing our energy."
Palmerston North City mayor Grant Smith says having a tool that's specific to Palmerston North means that we can capture unique data that's important to our community.
"Council has an eco-city goal, where we're working towards becoming a low-carbon economy.
"This model is a truly unique way that our residents can provide informed direction to council around how they see the city's carbon emissions changing over time," Mayor Smith says.
Lead councillor for the climate change portfolio Zulfiqar Butt says council has reduced its own emissions by 20 per cent since 2016 and was recently named one of Toitū's top 10 carbon reducers for 2020.
"The City Carbon Model is the next step in council's ambitions to promote carbon reduction in the city," Mr Butt says.
Residents of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to try the City Carbon Model and create their ideal yearly carbon emissions for the city in the year 2050.
The Palmerston North City Carbon Model can be found at https://palmyclimatecalculator.nz/.