SSG launches CityInSight: our new energy, emissions & finance model for cities and towns at COP21, Paris

The Canadian climate change and urban planning consultancy SSG launched CityInSight: an open source energy, emissions and finances model for cities, at COP21 in Paris this week.

“Cities are demonstrating the will to take on energy and emissions challenges. CityInSight enables cities to rigorously explore the impact of policies and investments on the transition to a low or zero carbon future, “ said Yuill Herbert, Director at SSG.

CityInSight is a sophisticated model with integrated spatially-explicit land-use and transportation components, and stocks-and-flows accounting. It analyses the impact of land-use and policy scenarios on energy, emissions and their associated financial and employment metrics. You can listen to the recording of the seminar we held in Le Bourget, at COP21 on 2nd December. (It starts 1:30 minutes in, and make sure your volume is turned up high..) 

It incorporates the Global GHG Protocol for Cities, a GHG accounting framework launched as the new global standard by the World Resources Institute, ICLEI, C40, UN Habitat and others at the UN Conference of the Parties in Lima in 2014. CityInSight has a web interface and many applications, helping cities to determine the best plans and actions to take on the path to sustainable, low carbon communities.

Along with their partners whatif Technologies, an international urban and energy modeling company, SSG is thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase their work at COP21.

“It finally gives cities a sophisticated and reliable way of making energy and emissions based land use decisions”, says Jeremy Murphy, SSG Director, “enabling cities to develop sustainably, manage their energy use and emissions outputs, and create defensible economic development plans”.

“The power it has to bring knowledge about what’s going on for a city in interactive, visually-rich ways is impressive”, added SSG Director Julia Meyer-MacLeod.

Marcus Williams, modelling analyst at whatif Technologies is excited about the launch of the model too, “I’m very excited about the launch of CityInSight. It offers cities and regions a unique scenarios-based platform for designing their future with respect to urban form, mobility, water, waste, energy and GHGs. Developing the web dashboard has been especially rewarding because we’re now able to surface key learnings from the underlying data-rich model through accessible (and beautiful) visualizations.” 

Cities around the world are increasingly embracing ambitious energy and emissions reduction strategies. The transition to a low carbon and renewable energy future requires ambitious new city policies and major infrastructure investment decisions. The holistic and rigorous approach this model provides is needed to justify these efforts.


For the editors:


CityInSight is designed from the perspective of local governments, focusing on their specific spheres of influence including land-use, urban form, buildings, transportation, waste management, district energy and others.


SSG is a workers’ co-operative with a 10-year track record of innovation in the fields of green building, urban planning and sustainability management systems. SSG developed the first Canadian model to evaluate existing and potential municipal policies and actions on greenhouse gas emissions and energy almost ten years ago.

WhatIf Technologies

whatIf? Technologies is one of the foremost modelling companies internationally that has developed urban and energy models and the regional, provincial and national scale for more than 20 years.

Climate Generation Areas COP21

The Climate Generations Areas were directly inspired by consultations with 117 civil society organizations and are a first in the history of climate conference organization. A total of 360 international civil society organizations are represented. They seek to encourage debate on solutions to climate change. In keeping with the 600 COP21-labelled projects, the Climate Generations areas are clearly focused on the local and global solutions that are available to all, now and for the future.


Jeremy Murphy

SSG Director 

01 604 828 6660