If you want to change the quality of life in your city, you have to get people involved. One of the ways we make this happen is through our Urbinsight project.
Urbinsight is a next generation mapping and data analysis platform designed for participatory mapping and planning processes in the form of an easy-to-use web app. The platform features a toolkit and methodology structured to facilitate resource management, community engagement, city planning, and environmental design.
Urbinsight teaches community members basic GIS data collection methods and helps coordinate on-the-ground activities where community members focus on specific issues, such as water quality, access to services, clean air, and safe and affordable housing. Information is gathered and made part of interactive maps for everyone to see and use.
What’s inspiring about Urbinsight is that people who live and work in these cities provide raw data via surveys. They become the environmental researchers and change agents for more ecologically healthy neighborhoods and communities. They use the technologies of crowdsourcing and crowd mapping to calculate the ecological footprint of a typical neighborhood and they do this to reduce negative impacts on their environment, improve consumption efficiencies, and make people aware of environmental preservation opportunities.
The practice of community engagement is meant to bring a more realistic alignment of goals and understanding of the problems between those with decision-making power and those whose voice often goes unheard. Urbinsight places people from both ends of the spectrum on the same level and allows them to not only share the vision of a healthier and more equitable urban environment but to be a part of the impetus for solving problems.
Urbinsight platform mockup showing resource flows, and building typologies.
The Urbinsight platform is currently developing in stages, building off of the expertise gained through the Ecocitizen World Map Project.
We anticipate an Alpha version of the platform will be ready by Q3 2015. Ecocity Builders intends to launch a beta version of Urbinsight at the Ecocity World Summit in Abu Dhabi in October 2015.