Routing algorithms for evaluating sustainability indicators

Developing policies to improve sustainability in urban development is a growing concern among politicians. In Euskadi, several municipalities have joined Aalborg+10 commitments defining a series of indicators to diagnose the degree of sustainability of their territories in the Local Agenda 21. These indicators also aim to evaluate the efforts and address both quantitatively and qualitatively urbanization of its municipalities following sustainability criteria. Many of these indicators have a strong geospatial component as they calculate measures such as walking access to basic services or occupation and land use. However, the biggest problem that exists today is that much of the data necessary to calculate these indicators are derived from studies by different entities with diverse detail level and which are segregated in separate reports hindering comparison and analysis. Previously, we detected the main shortcomings oft he current process for the calculation of some indicators proposing alternative methodologies. These take into account different levels of completeness of the data and are based on the use of routing algorithms, open data and volunteer geographic information. In this article we present the results of applying these new methodologies obtaining significant improvements in the level of detail of the results. As proof of concept these indicators have been calculated on 5 Basque municipalities: the three capitals of the historic territories and two villages. The results of this work are a powerful tool to improve the assessment of the targets set in the context of sustainable development and presenting them to society in a simple way, encourages the citizens’ involvement in the process.