Know Your City! Projects
Know Your City! Information for Transformation
The choice of the theme Know Your City for the 2014 Call for Proposals reflects the Cities Alliance’s strong conviction that a better knowledge of cities – and innovative ways of doing so – can bring the city government and its citizens together and help them engage with each other, build trust, share information, and improve accountability. These actions, in turn, support good governance and inclusive planning processes.
Knowledge Exchange on Know Your City
In September 2017, Cities Alliance organised a Learning Exchange for grantees of the Know Your City call. Project presentations by the grantees were complemented by six thematic sessions, organised through the Secretariat.
Bolivia: Scaling up the Barrio Digital (Digital Neighbourhood) Programme in La Paz
Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de La Paz, World Bank
One of the challenges faced by the Municipality of La Paz is engaging communities to provide feedback on the performance of its primary urban upgrading initiative. The Catalytic Fund supports the development of an online platform called Barrio Digital (Digital Neighbourhood) that enables citizens to send real-time feedback, grievances and requests for assistance to the municipality.
Barrio Digital can be accessed through text message or online via computer or smartphone, making it easy for citizens of all backgrounds to participate. The platform’s website also provides open access to information on projects delivered through the municipality’s upgrading initiative. Barrio Digital has already been introduced in four different neighbourhoods, and initial results show high usage frequency by citizens and a significant reduction in the municipality’s processing time for requests.
The Barrio Digital tool was launched in October 2016 by La Paz Mayor Luis Revilla.
Read an article about the tool: Speak up, citizens of La Paz! Barrios de Verdad is listening
Global: Using SafetiPin to build Safer CommunitiesActive Learning Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Bogota Secretaría Distrital de la Mujer (Secretary of Women), Nairobi City Planning Department
This activity supports the undertaking of safety audits in three cities: Bogotá, Delhi, and Nairobi. It expands the use of SafetiPin, a mobile app that collects detailed information about safety in cities using technology and crowd sourcing. Through the app, residents can identify and become aware of problem areas.
In each city, analysed data in the form of reports and maps with recommendations are shared with the relevant stakeholders, such as municipalities, transport and lighting departments, and the police. SafetiPin has helped create strong partnerships with local authorities, and its data is currently used as a resource for prioritising municipal infrastructure investments. In Delhi, for example, the city government improved lighting in areas identified as problematic by the SafetiPin app.
Guatemala: RedACTES: Citizens Action Network for Safe and Efficient Public TransportationTransparency International, Accion Ciudadana
RedACTES in Guatemala City seeks to contribute to the provision of safe and efficient public transportation for poor and underserved communities and to combat corruption in the city’s public transportation sector.
Components of the initiative include: Raising greater awareness amongst residents of their rights in terms of transportation; creating a text message service and a web-based platform to monitor, denounce, and respond to security incidents and breakdowns in service delivery; airing daily radio spots on problem areas and/or improvements; and fostering dialogue to strengthen the oversight and accountability of public and private institutions.
The resulting reports and media publications have influenced local decision makers to engage in promoting efficient and safe public transport. Due to its success, authorities are currently exploring ways to continue the project to ensure its long-term sustainability.
Guinea-Bissau: Mieux se connaitre pour construire l'avenir de Bissau
ESSOR, ALTERNAG (Association bissau guinéennes d’études et d’alternatives), and ANADEC (Action nationale pour le développement communautaire)
This initiative aims to help citizens in Bissau’s underprivileged neighbourhoods have access to information on basic services. It also seeks to create links between public authorities, private actors, and citizens. Within the neighbourhoods, three one-stop-shops have been established in Community Development Centres that provide information and guidance on educational and health services, vocational training and economic opportunities.
India: Bangalore Urban Metabolism Project (BUMP) – Informing better governance for urban sustainabilityStockholm Environment Institute, the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management
The Bangalore Urban Metabolism Project (BUMP) is a partnership between the Stockholm Environment Institute, the Indian Institute of Science, and the Indian Institute of Management. The interdisciplinary team has developed a formal framework, called urban metabolism, to address sustainability and equity challenges associated with rapid urbanisation. This specific activity focuses on water flows in Bangalore, building on previous work which identified key knowledge gaps in both the water demand and supply.
So far, a water demand function has been compiled and extensive groundwater mapping and resource assessment undertaken. Valuable data was extracted which has informed policy support and civil society outreach at local, state and national levels. BUMP showcases how water planning should be done in urban India.
Liberia: “IMAGINE MONROVIA” – Using Innovative Data Resources to Manage Monrovia’s Development
Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), Liberia Institute for Statistics & Geo-Information Services (LISGIS)
Myanmar: Mapping Yangon – The untapped communities
UN-Habitat, Yangon City Development Council
Peru: Más información para más seguridad. Ciudadanos, municipalidades y policías informados para una mejor gestión local de la seguridad ciudadana en Lima y Callao
Instituto de Defensa Legal
This project aims to provide accurate information on public safety in Lima and Callao to enable better public safety strategies and greater citizen engagement in the process. Extensive data on local security risks and prevention has been collected, analysed and disseminated through interactive maps, annual citizen security reports, and studies. The results were made available to the public and those responsible for managing public safety, namely municipal governments, the national police, and neighbourhood committees.
Sub-Saharan Africa: Creating Momentum for Change through Innovative Information Generation and Engagement at the City Level in Africa
Shack/ Slum Dwellers International, Association of African Planning Schools (AAPS)
West Bank/Gaza: Grassroots mobilisation towards improved emergency responsiveness and slum upgrading in East JerusalemUN-Habitat, The Arab Thought Forum
This project supports the development of an urban database to serve as an advocacy tool so that residents can proactively engage decision makers and donors and enhance their living conditions. Since the construction of the separation wall in 2002, the four neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem covered by the project have been neglected by the municipality. All four lack access to basic services or any kind of official representative body, and they have exhibited exclusively informal growth.
The project’s outputs include fact sheets, infographics, and assessment reports to evaluate the existing socioeconomic and physical conditions in each neighbourhood. Strategic frameworks for identifying the emergency and development needs were shared with decision makers to provide urban development recommendations and advocate for better provision of social and physical infrastructure.
Calls for Proposals