Building sustainable communities is an important challenge for local governments, and one that the International City/County Management Association [ICMA] has reached out to promote to our 9,000 members worldwide. One of ICMA’s long time Strategic Partners is Esri, the world leader in mapping technology. This past spring, Esri announced its first Esri Climate Resilience App Challenge 2014, which ICMA co-sponsored. Esri hosted the Climate Resilience App Challenge in support of the White House Climate Data initiative with a goal of strengthening the ability of communities to respond to increased climate variability.
Last week the winners of the App Challenge were announced at the Esri International User Conference. It’s highly noteworthy that a solar suitability app won. The Minnesota Solar Suitability Analysis app , developed by a team of graduate students at the University of Minnesota, enables users to identify the suitability of a location for solar panel installation. A user can locate their house or other location and then query solar analysis data to identify suitable sites in their community. With this information, solar installers can provide better site assessments, and planners can identify neighborhoods for targeted solar projects. With new tools like this emerging, locating good sites for solar projects is made much easier. To watch a video furthering describing the app, click here.