Useful Projects was appointed by Connected Place Catapult to develop a framework and a proof of concept tool to help local authorities in their transition to net zero, which was named the “Net Zero Navigator Tool”.
The strategic planning tool provides local authorities with an overview of their local place characteristics and current performance, looking at buildings, energy systems, transport and local capacity. It also assesses a local authority’s zero carbon organisational maturity. Based on these assessments, the tool provides a selection of strategic and enabling interventions to help local authorities accelerate the development of their carbon strategy.
Developed with the input of more than 40 local authorities in the UK, the Net Zero Navigator is a strategic tool which local authorities and other stakeholders can use to formulate, iterate and finalise plans which are tailored to their local context. There are lots of tools and resources out there. Net Zero Navigator is different because:
- It recognises that each local area is different, but there are meaningful commonalities which can be identified (for example in the potential of an area for different forms of renewables, or the spatial characteristics which suggest particular transport interventions). The tool helps local authorities identify councils with shared characteristics and challenges to learn from and support each other.
- As well as considering the sources of emissions in a local area to suggest actions, it allows users to select co-benefits (for example jobs, health) which are most important and considers the impact of interventions on these. These can then be used to support the case for emissions reducing interventions.
- It sign-posts users to a huge range of specialist resources, suppliers, tools and funding to help them refine plans.
Useful Projects collaborated with Expedition and Space Syntax to develop the content of the tool, with the support of the Carbon Disclosure Project. We then worked with One Planet to create the final online tool.