Interactive Map Breaks Down NYC's Energy Use, Block by Block

Michael Bloomberg has big plans for how to turn New York City into a shining example of sustainable urbanism, but the more fanciful (and awesome) parts of his plans can't go forward without a solid grounding in practical information. This map should do a lot to fill the gap: It breaks down energy consumption in the Big Apple, block by block, by quantity and use.

The map was produced as part of a study by Bianca Howard, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at at Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor Vijay Modi.

The purpose of the map is to help urban planners and policy makers understand what the lay of the land is- how energy is used and where things can be improved. Even a casual perusal of the map shows that the dominant energy use in most of the city, outside the highest energy consumption areas (like the Financial District), goes to heating. Nearly all of that, Modi says, comes from oil and natural gas.

The idea is that now all of this information is in one easy to browse map, it will be easier to estimate the worth and impact of energy-reducing policies. Where will new regulations for heating oil have the most impact? Can wind power make a serious dent in energy consumption? Now that the groundwork has been laid, let the wild-eyed schemes begin.

Interactive Map Breaks Down NYC's Energy Use, Block by Block
A map produced by Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science provides the energy use of each NYC block, broken down by purpose and quantity.