About the Near you tool

Near You is a data-driven tool aimed at helping groups, councillors and residents improve things in their area. The team behind the tool explains how it was developed, who funded it and how to use it.

18 Oct 2023

Driving change in your area

Near you is a digital tool and a series of supporting research projects designed to empower grassroots campaigners to drive change in their area. By providing local data on nature, justice and climate, the tool can help groups and residents build alliances with others and support the most vulnerable in communities with the effects of the climate and nature crises.

With more and more data publicly available, complex data-analysis more achievable, and the growth of machine-learning, Friends of the Earth believes that data can be a powerful way for campaigners and others to debate and secure the change needed to address the climate and ecological emergencies. 

Much of the reduction in carbon emissions achieved over the last decades, like the decarbonisation of electricity, hasn’t directly impacted people’s lives. But the next stages will require much greater community buy-in and therefore needs community engagement. Data can help achieve this. 

Examples of more direct changes that will affect communities include:

  • the shift from cars to public transport, cycling and walking
  • the widespread adoption of energy efficiency and heat pumps, with local heat strategies likely to be the driver for decision-making
  • the introduction of green infrastructure to improve human health as well as nature. 

Also, by democratising local environmental data we’ll enable many more people to close the gap between information and action. This means they’ll be much better equipped to take action on what matters to them in their communities. 

How to use the tool

Using the tool is simple. Just head to Near you, pop in your postcode and explore the different topic tabs on offer. It's then up to you how you use the data provided. You could use it to:

  • help your local group to shape discussions and highlight priority areas 
  • encourage community engagement by sharing the tool on social media
  • facilitate conversations with local authorities. 
  • share it directly with local authority council officers. 

Who built the tool?

The tool has been developed by Friends of the Earth with collaborators including Infogr8.

Who funded the tool?

The Near you initiative has been supported by the players of the People's Postcode Lottery.