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Cities Research Seminar Series: "Ecohacking:" Web-based Analytics Driving the Urban Sustainability Transition

One of the most exciting developments in urban sustainability research and policy in recent years has been the emergence of "ecohacking." Beginning around 5 years ago, we’ve witnessed the emergence of a swathe of innovations applying the latest data science and web technology to drive sustainable behaviors and the uptake of efficient appliances, renewables and other technologies.

This seminar will provide a snapshot of recent work emerging from Australia. Key subjects will include:

  • Processes and tools for integrating, analyzing and visualizing urban environmental performance data including web-based data platforms and browser-based interactive visualization tools
  • Analyses and tools for simulating and forecasting the energy and water requirements of buildings, precincts and cities including end use modelling, building and appliance stock modelling and building services modelling
  • Analyses and tools for assessing alternative energy and water servicing opportunities including efficiency measures (e.g. efficient appliances), distributed resource measures (solar PV, rainwater harvesting) and network infrastructure measures (e.g., network augmentations)

The seminar will attempt to draw links with recent work in the United States, with a view to identify collaboration opportunities between Australia and the U.S.

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Speaker: John McKibbin

Dr. John McKibbin is a Research Principal at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney. John’s work focuses on applying data science, modelling and web technology to support sustainability policy, planning and design. John has over 9 years consulting experience working with a wide range of clients including councils, energy networks, water utilities, and governments across Australia, including:

  • Working with CSIRO Data61 to develop a web-based data platform and data visualisation tool for urban environmental performance data including energy, water, waste and transport data
  • Working with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and electricity utilities across Australia to develop a national tool for identifying energy demand management and renewable energy opportunities
  • Working with the Australian National Water Commission and water utilities across Australia to develop a national tool for identifying water conservation and alternative supply opportunities and
  • Providing policy advice to state and federal governments including the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Committee for Water, Local Government Infrastructure Services Queensland, the Australian Department of Environment, and the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

In addition to his research and policy consulting work, John is the founder of Ecologic Apps, a startup that is combining building simulation science, big data analytics and web technology to transform how energy is used and generated in buildings and cities.

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