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Peterborough to get resources database

Peterborough aims to become the UK’s most sustainable city with a new online database tracking the city’s use of energy, water, transport and waste systems.

Plans have been outlined to launch a Sustainable City Visualisation project which will initially focus on building a new online platform to monitor and analyse data on Peterborough’s energy, water, transport and waste systems.

Opportunity Peterborough, Peterborough City Council, IBM, Royal Haskoning and Green Ventures today announced the new collaboration behind the project, which aims to transform Peterborough into the leading sustainable city in the UK.

“If you can visualise a problem it becomes easier to understand, and more pressing to fix.” 

Phil Newby, Green Ventures

This data will be used to produce a real-time, integrated view of the city’s performance. Residents and city officials will be able to log on to the web portal and easily access the information to make more informed decisions about resource usage.

For example, the city will be able to make suggestions to improve home water and energy usage, while being able to work more effectively with the utilities to plan the long term energy and water infrastructure that is needed for a sustainable future.

For the first time, utilities, government agencies and local businesses will be able to share information for a more comprehensive view of the city’s ecosystem.

Plan and deliver

The first phase of the project will focus on energy and water data and work is already underway to move transport and waste related data onto the platform with other environmental data set to follow.

Peterborough City Council deputy leader and cabinet member for environment capital Matthew Lee said: “Our residents, business people, the public sector and utility providers will have access to dynamic information about our environmental performance. Access to online data such as this will equip us to plan and deliver sustainability in all we do.”

“A partnership is needed between a community that has strong aspirations for sustainability, and companies like IBM, Royal Haskoning and Green Ventures.”

Ian Abbott-Donnelly, IBM

IBM Big Green Innovations European CTO Ian Abbott-Donnelly said new technology will enable the city to respond intelligently to the challenge of sustainability. “To create such a mechanism, a partnership is needed between a community that has strong aspirations for sustainability, and companies like IBM, Royal Haskoning and Green Ventures that have the information technology and knowledge to apply to this transformative partnership,” he said.

Fifteen years ago Peterborough was made one of four UK Environment Cities by The Department of the Environment and is set to become one of a cluster of IBM “Smarter Cities” being developed around the world.

Green Ventures director Phil Newby said: “If you can visualise a problem it becomes easier to understand, and more pressing to fix. Most importantly, if the data is shared, it makes collaboration easier, which in turn will speed the pace of change.”

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