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Adelaide | Mapping Sustainability

How can benchmarking resource use and organizational capacity inspire a region to action?

The next frontier in sustainable change is to scale up from individual action to collective actions. Adelaide, South Australia, like many cities around the world, is facing environmental deterioration due to climate change and the misuse of natural resources. evolveEA, working closely with the Office of the Premiere of South Australia, studied the region, collected and analyzed a wide array of data on carbon emissions, energy, water, transport and waste, and created compelling graphic interpretations of the data to mobilize the public through the Thinker-in-Residence outreach program.

Collective impact can be made when cities and regions align their efforts through a common vision and measurable goals. evolveEA’s work presented an easy to understand analysis of the sustainability issues , along with a plan to move forward toward a healthier region.

Flip through the public presentation:

evolveEA inventoried the region’s major environmental programs and projects through on-site meetings with representatives of key sectors, such as universities, non-profits and private organizations. Adelaide’s climate action plan and other resource-specific plans were benchmarked against similarly sized cities worldwide to identify strengths and weakness, and to help prioritize which issues might be addressed by immediate initiatives. The study went far beyond the city’s boundaries.

evolveEA’s graphic presentation made abstract concepts like resource scarcity or energy use easy to understand. The presentation communicated the importance of these metrics, illustrated with recognizable places and objects, in support of a plan of action for each of the studied categories. This plan was clearly defined in terms of goals and measurable progress, so that individuals could see how practical changes could bring tangible improvement to many of the environmental problems in their region. evolveEA was the facilitator throughout the process of improving Adelaide’s environmental literacy.

An integral part of our mission is to advocate for sustainable design that creates environments that lead to community –wide changes in attitudes and actions, which in turn will lead to real results. evolveEA and the South Australia government agencies engaged the community in developing an overview of the issues ,and then participated in the larger community process of moving toward a more sustainable city, with more active citizen involvement in improving the city’s health and future.