Envision Charlotte: Connecting People with Information and Insights

Fri, 2014-07-04 13:43 -- SCC Staff

Building smarter, more sustainable cities requires the support of public, private and civic stakeholders. Envision Charlotte is charting a new course. By taking a holistic and integrated approach to engaging these disparate groups and demonstrating the benefits ‒ both environmental and economic ‒ of real, lasting change, the initiative has assembled a strong consortium of public and private interests with shared vision and momentum.

The ambitious project will transform the downtown ‒ called Center City ‒ into an incubator for innovative technological solutions and long-term commitments. The initiative’s aims are not small: energy and water efficiency, waste reduction, green building and site planning, as well as engaged businesses and citizens.

Council Lead Partner Itron is lending its expertise to the Smart Water Now program. Like its sister program for energy, Smart Water Now will aggregate information into a single number representing total usage, then drive awareness and behavior change to reduce consumption. The results will lower operational costs, improve sustainability, engage occupants and contribute to the overall value proposition of working and living in Center City.

Envision Charlotte Scope

    • 61 buildings, 300 tenants and over 67,000 people
    • Achieve 20% energy reduction in five years
    • Reduce net consumption of water in five years
    • Divert an additional 20% of waste from the landfill through recycling programs or composting
    • Improve air quality and the natural environment by instituting programs that encourage alternative transportation and energy efficiency

Awareness and knowledge are key ingredients of sustainability and change. But what’s the best way to get information into the hands of people who need it?

Measurement technology, like smart meters and communications from Itron, provide unprecedented insights with near real-time data. By rendering the data in intuitive ways -- trending, benchmarking against other buildings in the area, or correlating with other data sets like weather -- program participants are better able to assess how they can build, operate and live smarter.