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Initiatives

Supporting the transition to electric-drive, alternative-fuel, and autonomous vehicles through innovative research and decision support.
Developing strategies to spur renewable energy and energy efficiency in California.
Supporting the creation and implementation of state and local policies, investments and plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing local resilience, environmental, public health, and economic benefits.
Enhancing the role of information and communications technologies in the 21st century.
Advancing policy, economic, and technological solutions that support sustainable water systems and water use behavior in California.
Supporting urban greening efforts―in public parks, streets and beyond―to restore natural processes and habitats while connecting neighborhoods to each other and their environment.

Exploring Digital Communities in the Southern Caucasus

The “Exploration of Infographics in the Southern Caucasus” is a project examining the political potentialality of interactive web applications and web-based maps in the Southern Caucasus region. Particularly it determines if data mapping and data visualization has the power to encourage public participation and influence public policy decisions. The web applications will illustrate spatially areas of public interest for two projects in the Southern Caucasus, in the countries of Georgia and Armenia. The first project with the help of the NGO, Armenian Environmental Network, will map all the locations of illegal mining in Armenia, giving residents a means of locating where the mining is happening and where there are hazards of high concentrations of sulfur dioxide in the ambient air. The second project is a crowd-sourced web map demonstrating locations of historic buildings in Tbilisi, Georgia that are at risk of being demolition. Private developers in Georgia have recently began demolishing historic structures and endangered housing in Tbilisi for profit, without reproach by the Georgian government.  With the help of Georgian NGO, Tbilisi Heritage Group, this application would allow users to upload photos and documents relating to the structures and have a means of receiving alerts by email, Facebook, or twitter, about approaching demolition dates or coinciding protesting events, with the intent of stopping future demolition of buildings. Both these projects are attempting to see if a web applications and maps will be an effective means of community outreach in the Southern Caucasus and will determine if this new digital avenue shows potential for creating new “digital communities” that will propel political protest and create social change.

Read Loosine Vartani's report: Restorative Buildings: TBILISI

Loosine Vartani