The Open Data Climate Action Challenge

The Open Data Climate Action Challenge launched in April of this year, seeking ideas and applications that use open data to support and encourage climate action. Seven shortlisted projects were given two months to develop tools, dashboards, analyses and applications which address the climate crisis in some shape or form. All projects use data published on Ireland’s National and/or Dublin Region open data repositories and all address climate action in some shape or form. At a Showcase Webinar later today project owners will demonstrate how their solutions support climate action and how stakeholders and how the wider public can engage with them. And the best projects will be awarded prizes. More details on the webinar can be found further down.

What solutions were developed?

In all, seven potentially impactful projects created new applications or built on existing ones using open data and other resources. A brief description of each solution follows:

GoZeroWaste App

The Go Zero Waste App is designed to support waste reduction through encouraging use of refill stations for water bottles, bulk stores for unpacketed goods, charity and second hand stores, and so forth. For the Challenge, this App was populated with open data and other data relevant to Dublin and launched with gamification and prizes. Download the app here.

Nature Based Solutions Zoning Map

Nature Based Solutions use nature and biodiversity to help address potential climate change effects- such as Flooding. This interactive map shows where deficiencies in ecosystem services and social need exist and can serve as a decision support tool: optimising the location and implementation of Nature Based Solutions. Check it out.

Cycling Infrastructure Optimisation Tool

This project presents an analysis of data relating to active travel in order to identify optimal locations for provision of cycling infrastructure (e.g. cycle lanes) and for where bikeshare scheme services might expand into. Findings will be showcased at the webinar and accessible online.

iAdapt Game

iAdapt is a climate change adaptation educational game aimed at teenagers and Transition Year students, among others. Through the Challenge, the game was improved by adding flooding datasets and undertaking engagement activities. Try out the iAdapt online game for yourself, it’s free.

Invasive Species Dashboard

This project created an interactive online map/ dashboard to visualise invasive species, with a particular focus on potentially threatened woodlands. Have a look to check where your local native woodlands are and if they are under threat from any of the five invasive species included.

Optimising Locations for, and use of, Remote Working Hubs: an online tool

Remote working hubs have potential to provide an effective workplace environment closer to people’s homes, with positive effects on traffic congestion and vehicle emissions. This project used data science and machine learning approaches to help model optimal sites for locating remote hubs as well as to identify ways to increase awareness and usage of them.

Energy Calculator Infographics

This project set out to create ‘citizen and business energy infographics’ which combine data visualisations and narrative- and illustrate how by taking specific measures, individuals and organisations can positively impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

Challenge Details and Background

A committee was set up comprising representatives from Smart Dublin, Dublin CARO, Codema, Derilinx and the Climate Action officers of Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin County Councils in early 2022 in order to administer and oversee a competition to which promote use of open data and addresses climate action.

From the outset, an intention was to explore how open data engagement can assist climate action and support the objectives of Dublin’s local authority Climate Change Action Plans. Funding for prizes was secured from DPER’s open data engagement fund and from the above organisations. It was decided that shortlisted participants would receive award to the value of €1,000. And in addition, first place would win an award worth €5,000, second place €3,000, and third place €2,000.

For information on open data, see Dublinked and the National Open Data Portal. For information on the Dublin local authorities’ Climate Change Action Plans, see here.

The Showcase Webinar

An online webinar will be held today, 12-1pm. A keynote from John Sweeney: Emeritus Professor, Climatologist and Contributing Author to the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report which won that organisation the Nobel Peace Prize, will set out the scale of the climate change challenge and touch on the role open data and public engagement can play in addressing it. This will be followed by short showcase pitches for all seven tools, dashboards and apps, and a short prize-giving for the top three. Register for the live online event here.

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