Software tool to help citizens visualize their cities’ eco-efforts

The last issue of Metropolis featured an article about See-it, a software tool developed by "Visible Strategies" that helps Albuquerque citizens visualize their cities’ eco-efforts:

"See-it (short for Social, Environmental, Economic-Integration Toolkits) organizes citywide data into a live status report that the average citizen can quickly understand. At the center of the screen is a planet divided into three general areas of focus (ecosystems and agriculture, the man-made environment, and the economy and culture) and encircled by concentric rings of in-creasing specific ity (goals, strategies, and actions). If you’re interested in Albuquerque’s plans for its buses, for example, follow the “Greening Our Travel” goal to the “Vehi cle Efficiency” strategy, where you can read about the fleet’s ongoing conversion to alternative fuels. You’ll also find a graph that evaluates the plan’s progress (on track!) and a form to send feedback to a city manager. “It has forced us to take a good hard look at what data we have and how we measure our success,” says Danny Nevarez, who works at Albu quer que’s Environmental Health Depart ment."

Why do I blog this? there are lots of projects in urban computing that aims at revealing the invisible/implicit phenomena such as pollution, I am curious to see how city dwellers understand/use/employ such platforms. I quite liked that comment in the article: "Of course, the program is only as good as the data behind it, which the city itself provides" but I am more dubious about this comment by a user: "I want to be part of this. I want to be able to see whether I’m reducing my ecological footprint. And if I can’t do that, how can I relate to a government plan?