Nation’s First Interactive Carbon Footprint Map Covers San Francisco Bay Area

By on January 15, 2016

A neighborhood-by-neighborhood inventory of carbon emissions will help households and cities compare and ideally lower their carbon footprints. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of California, Berkeley)


While carbon footprint has previously been calculated for each ZIP code in the nation, a release from University of California at Berkeley reveals that carbon footprint has also been estimated on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood scale for the San Francisco Bay Area. The program is the first nationwide to provide such a level of detail for carbon footprint.

Neighborhood-by-neighborhood comparisons have shown significant differences in carbon footprint, such as large differences in energy consumption for urban versus suburban neighborhoods. For example, UC Berkeley scientists found that the influence of transportation on carbon footprint varied widely depending on neighborhood type. Urban areas had relatively few emissions from transportation, whereas suburban ones had a higher percentage thanks to vehicles used for daily commutes.

Neighborhoods with high transportation rates were considered candidates for photovoltaics and electric vehicles as strategies to reduce emissions, whereas low transportation neighborhoods were advised to change their carbon diets to ones requiring fewer emissions-heavy processes, as well as to support local services that are low-carbon.

The carbon footprint assessment included energy use, transportation, food, goods, services, water and waste for a complete picture of each neighborhood’s emissions breakdown.

Top image: A neighborhood-by-neighborhood inventory of carbon emissions will help households and cities compare and ideally lower their carbon footprints. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of California, Berkeley)

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