NEWS UCBerkeley-​​Tech de Monterrey Team Win Global Sustainability Competition


Ser­gio Castel­lanos, along­side a team of researchers from UC Berke­ley, in part­ner­ship with the Insti­tuto Nacional de Ecología y Cam­bio Climático (INECC), and Waze, took home the grand prize at the Data for Cli­mate Action (D4CA) chal­lenge at an event dur­ing COP23, a United Nations cli­mate change con­fer­ence held in Bonn, Ger­many. The chal­lenge, launched ear­lier this year by United Nation’s Global Pulse, and West­ern Dig­i­tal, is an unprece­dented open-​​innovation com­pe­ti­tion to har­ness data sci­ence and big data to accel­er­ate cli­mate solutions.

Ser­gio Castel­lanos, direc­tor of the Berkeley/​Mexico Energy & Cli­mate Initiative,along with the UC Berke­ley team formed by Prof. Dan Kam­men, Apollo Jain, Pedro Sánchez, Alan Xu, Hec­tor Rincón, and Alex Gao, and the INECC team formed by Clau­dia Octa­viano, Fabi­ola Ramirez, Oscar Araiza, Itzchel Nieto, Adolfo Con­tr­eras, and Ulises Ruiz, devel­oped the prize win­ning entry­with their work on “Electro-​​mobility: Clean­ing Mex­ico City’s Air with Trans­for­ma­tional Cli­mate Policies”.

The project, as sum­ma­rized by Dr. Clau­dia Octa­viano, “looked at how we can use Waze data from Google, which shows the mobil­ity pat­terns of peo­ple using their cell­phones to try to opti­mize their routes, to build a pic­ture of where con­ges­tion is occur­ring in Mex­ico City– and where that con­ges­tion is caus­ing pol­lu­tion. Once we had a pic­ture of this con­ges­tion, we then car­ried out mod­el­ing analy­sis to under­stand dif­fer­ent cli­mate change poli­cies related to elec­tric mobil­ity, i.e. elec­tric cars.”

The project endeav­ors to plan a clean energy infra­struc­ture for Mex­ico City, one of the most con­gested cities in the world. The project, and the D4CA chal­lenge more gen­er­ally, rep­re­sent what’s pos­si­ble when pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor orga­ni­za­tions part­ner for social good; an aim per­fectly in sync with BECI’s mis­sion statement.

You can read more about the com­pe­ti­tion here, and about their project, along with a team inter­view, here.

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