The City Lifestyle Explorer, CLE, is an interactive applet that allows the user to explore the relationships between individual or houshold lifestyle and selected environmental issues for a city. The intention with the applet is to visualize and illustrate the relationship between a person's lifestyle and the environment, and the reduction and replacement of natural areas with increased human activity (land-use and pollution) and increased population. In both cases the emphasis is on cities – the lifestyles of people living in cities and the effects on the environment and natural areas in and around the city.
The underlying 'model' is quite simplistic and explores qualitatively how the choices made by the individuals may have an impact upon the city environment and its surroundings. Some environmental issues explored are the possible changes in land use (e.g., as represented by the Ecological Footprint concept), air pollution, water abstraction and solid waste generation. As the model is quite simplistic, some of the connections between lifestyle choices and impacts may appear quite dramatic or possibly surprising. That's good - it has then made the user think & react!
How to use the CLE? It's very simple. From the initial state of your city, simply tick off your preferred choices within the various lifestyle categories. Watch the result. Keep in mind that the result is made by anticipating that EVERYONE live like you. Is the result pleasing? If not, please adjust your choices - possibly several times - so that you finally can accept the state of the city environment and the lifestyle.
The City Lifestyle Explorer has been developed within the Cities Environment
Reports on the Internet (CEROI) project. CEROI is a project aimed specifically at cities,
to enable cities to create environment reports on the Internet with technical
support. The project is administered by GRID-Arendal, an environmental
information center in Arendal, Norway which is part of the United Nations
Environmental Programme (UNEP). The CEROI project is supported through a development
contract with the Norwegian software company Ugland Publikit.
The City Lifestyle Explorer was created as a MSc project in the program
Environmental Engineering & Sustainable Infrastructure at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden by Stirling Habbitts (South
Africa) with help of Ulrich Potthoff (Germany), under the supervision of Assistant Professor Sindre Langaas. The MSc thesis (here in PDF format/??? kB): Habitts, S. 1999. "Addition of interactivity to Cities Environmental Report on the Internet", MSc.Thesis, Div. of Land and Water Resources, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, KTH, Sweden. 70 pages. gives more details about the development of the CLE.