IoTrees – Guadalajara's Internet of Trees
Mexico's major cities are facing a series of difficult challenges because of climate change. The results of shifting weather conditions are palpable in the city Guadalajara that is home to almost five million people in the west of the central Mexican highlands. Mexico's second-largest city struggles with rising temperatures and extreme rainfall. The administration and the citizens have identified the need for protecting, cultivating and reforesting the trees in the municipal area. With only 9 square meters of public green space per citizen, Guadalajara does not meet the minimal requirements set by the World Health Organization.
A city measures itself
Therefore, Guadalajara introduced IoTrees (“ Árbol IoT” in Spanish), a platform that lets citizens participate in the mapping of trees in the city and strengthens their ecological awareness. The “Internet of Trees” promotes civic activism (this works through “gamification” by introducing playful elements in the app that are supposed to motivate users to participate) and supports the city administration in their efforts of preserving the tree population. Consisting of a mobile and a web app, a network of cost-effective sensors and an interactive table for visualizations, the app allows to establish and augment an inventory of a city's trees. The ecological use of the trees becomes quantifiable and also recognizable for the citizens. The generated data creates a superior basis on which authorities in charge can make decisions: While previously a staff of only eight people was busy monitoring the 500.000 trees in the city, the app now allows to tap into the potential of the whole population.