Digital Economy USRG

Praise from the World Bank for a pioneering environmental app developed in Southampton

July 1, 2012
by Sotonde

Great news from Washington DC for web science at the University of Southampton

A creative and interactive website which shows how society depend on countries around the world, developed by a Southampton PhD researcher has won third prize in the prestigious World Bank ‘Apps for Climate’ competition.

Jack Townsend is working on an interdisciplinary doctorate examining how the Web and open data can support sustainable development and help overcome the effects of climate change. His work is supervised by both Professor Gail Taylor from the Centre for Biological Sciences and Dr Jason Noble in Electronics and Computer Science (ECS).

“The World Health Organisation has estimated that climate change is killing 150,000 people a year. In order to tackle this challenge, we all need to know how it affects us personally and what we can do about it,” says Jack.

Globe-Town can be used to find out how our changing climate is already affecting countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. There are environmental, social and economic facts about each state, and details of how trade, migration and air travel connect countries together.

Jack and teammates Andrea Prieto, Richard Gomer, Huw Fryer, Dominic Hobson and Will Fyson have developed the website from theory he formulated in his research about how web technologies can help tackle climate change. “I’m fascinated by the potential of web technologies and openness to tackle global challenges and advance sustainable development for all,” Jack continues. “Globe-Town is just one example of how they can contribute.”

Jack is a member of Southampton’s Web Science Doctoral Training Centre which brings together students and academics from across the University to research the Web.

Jack tweets on @JackTownsend_ and can be contacted on j.townsend “at”


World Bank announcement


Categories: Blog. Tags: app, climate, globe-town, and WS DTC.