©2018 by Space4Good

Coder Mission #2:

Living Environment Challenges

Challenge 1. Natural Environment

Problem:  There is no accurate evaluation of the current situation and state of natural plant environment, forests, grass fields, and water resources quality and quantity. More information and a data-driven procedure is needed to be able to define and develop policies and to predict the risk factors associated with the above mentioned areas.

Example research questions:

  • Which farms have alarming problems with both land subsidence in peat meadows and saltwater seepage such as Polder Middelburg? How can an integrated eco-agri-tourism plan for polders or other business ideas can help at this problem by integrating nature, cows and experience.

  • How adequate is the natural plant environment of PZH in terms of food for pollinizers? How can policymakers make a ‘bee friendly province’ mixing species of trees and flowers along roads, dikes and herbaceous rich farmlands for bees? See national bee strategy with PZH as partner.

  • Are there areas with abnormal quality or quantity of irrigation? How are the weather conditions affecting this throughout the year?

  • Are there areas with problematic natural plant or animal quantity?

  • Can we evaluate the quality of soil in different areas?

Deliverables:

The participating team is asked to conduct the necessary research and build a prototype of a system able to:

  • Investigate the suggested research questions or any additional ones of your choice.

  • Find patterns in the historical and real-time data.

  • Simulate alternative future scenarios (trade-off analysis) and identify environmental and societal risks.

  • Calculate the financial projections of the various simulated scenarios for the local government.

  • Deliver a report on the findings and recommendations for future research and potential policies.

 

Data:

To be uploaded to GitHub repository soon. 

Challenge 2. Energy Transition

Problem:  There is lack of information of the performance and return of investment (ROI) of different renewable energy sources located in different areas. This information should be provided to policy makers using a data-driven approach. 

Example research questions:

  • There are several energy alternatives for greenhouses in PZH that suggest the production of CO2 neutral corps (using geothermal energy, or residual heat from industries) but also (giving off energy from biomass). Can you design a plan that combines different energy sources to power greenhouses along with the surrounding neighborhoods and industries?

  • Aquathermie energy from water, is being suggested as a potential energy source of the future. This involves creating heat energy networks thus aiming at industrial symbiosis. What is a feasible plan to deliver to policymakers in this regard? Can it involve local energy communities?

  • What combinations of energy sources and locations have the highest efficiency and Return on Investment from but not limiting to:

    • Wind turbines in land and at sea

    • Solar Panels in cities and farmland

    • Geothermal

    • Long term energy storage with water

  • What energy type (wind, solar, geo) is best paired to serve what industry?

  • How can you achieve the best efficiency by combining different sources for different uses (cooking, heating, lighting)?

Data:

To be uploaded to GitHub repository soon. 

Challenge 3. Circular Economy and Waste Management

Problem:  There is lack of information of the return on investment (ROI) and efficiency of circular economy practices and waste management. This information should be provided to policy makers using a data-driven approach. You can think of recycling activities, alternative waste collection methods, waste transport logistics, different construction mechanisms,  biobased material feedstocks etc.   See Circular Economy Indicators report for PZH by Metabolic.

Example research questions: 

  • Can you detect the streets where people are NOT separating wastes into containers and what is their demographic (age, household type)? What new recycling activities, alternative waste collection methods, waste transport logistics can you think of to improve waste management in Zuid-Holland?

  • PZH is researching possibilities for construction with wood and other waste material flows for housing and buildings. A circular construction logistics hub is proposed that includes transport of waste materials via ship to polders. Can you help policy makers plan and monitor the sourcing, logistics and use of this these waste streams in construction?

  • PZH is part of the Biobased Delta which aims to use plant material and biomass in replacement of fossil based materials. Due to the number of greenhouses and high tech horticulture, PZH is a natural exploration environment for the transition to the biobased economy. How can policymakers measure and map out the biobased initiatives and their overall contribution towards the higher Circular Economy goals?

  • What is the efficiency and financial gains or losses of implementing various policies taking into consideration factors like but not limiting to:

    • Recycling policies of different municipalities

    • Import and export of waste

    • Industrial vs. living areas

    • Houses vs. apartment buildings

    • Infrastructure and logistics analysis of various waste collection activities

    • Urban planning of different cities

Deliverables: 

The participating team is asked to conduct the necessary research and build a prototype of a system able to:

  • Investigate the suggested research questions and any additional relevant ones.

  • Find patterns in the historical and real-time data.

  • Simulate different future scenarios (trade-off analysis). 

  • Calculate the financial projections of the various simulated scenarios for the local government.

  • Deliver a report on the findings and opportunity maps based on the results.

Data:

To be uploaded to GitHub repository soon.