The Open Cities Project aims to catalyze the creation, management and use of open data to produce innovative solutions for urban planning and resilience challenges across South Asia.
In South Asia, rural to urban migration is occurring at a rate of 6-7 percent annually, making it one of the most rapidly urbanizing regions in the world. As urban populations and city boundaries grow, so does the difficulty of managing urban growth. To do so effectively, and build resilient and sustainable societies through the process, policy-makers and the public must have access to robust and accurate data. Only once this data is in place, can smart tools be created to inform decisions. These include where and how to build safer schools, how to protect urban areas against future climate impacts, or how to improve a city’s transport network to meet growing demand.
Given this context, the Open Cities Project is composed of two complementary components. The first part of the initiative is to gather asset and exposure data in urban areas. This is an important step toward creating a robust asset inventory, which will form the base layer of urban planning and risk information systems. The second part of the project involves facilitating ongoing civic hacking engagements that leverage the asset data collected in South Asia to create tools and applications that improve urban planning and disaster resilience across the region. The Open Cities Project enables the collection of data through open and participatory methods and is conducted in partnership with local government agencies, universities, technical communities, and the private sector. This approach, as demonstrated in other World Bank projects in Haiti, Indonesia, and Tanzania, allows a broad range of members in society to participate in the effort to understand and improve urban resilience.
Become a part of the community creating better data and better tools for urban planning and disaster resilience. For more information on joining the Open Cities Project, please contact Sonam Velani of The World Bank's Sustainable Development Department - South Asia Region