To manage the challenges of India’s rapid urbanization trajectory, cities need data for informed decision making and policy development. This will require an improvement in data collection and visualization systems that will enable evidence-based strategies. To assist policy makers in developing actionable and effective plans, URU is developing a national decision framework for establishing urban data observatories.
An urban data observatory is a platform which serves as a repository for accurate and frequently updated city specific spatial and non-spatial data that could be used as a decision support system. The platform would include visualization and analytical tools that would assist stakeholders in prioritizing issues that need to be addressed as well as assist in evidence-based decision making.
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Strong urban systems will ensure that residents, businesses and institutions have the ability to “withstand, respond to, and adapt more readily to shocks and stresses to bounce back stronger after tough times”. The data observatory will only be successful in building urban resilience if it incorporates all stakeholders. Much of the urban data that is generated comes from city wide stakeholders on a daily basis. To ensure that decision makers can make the most effective decisions, it will be necessary that relevant stakeholders contribute data to the observatory.
Government officials and policy makers will use the observatory to better understand the on the ground challenges for cities. The observatory will also serve as a decision support system, resulting in informed urban planning and policy.
Businesses would be able to understand business scenarios and the impact of urban spatial factors on their business through visualizations.
Institutions and NGOs could use the platform to conduct research and visualize the impacts of their work.
People would benefit from more active engagement through the observatory as well as information about service provision from the government. This would also increase transparency and the accountability of government officials.
Connections and Linkages
URU can facilitate linkages with central and city government agencies to help collate data. URU can also connect national and international data observatories to build an urban data network.
Through the development of a data framework, URU can assist cities in framing key decision questions and optimizing data for decision support.
URU can help cities choose the tools and vendors that best meet their budgetary and technical needs. URU can assist with user need assessments and risk scoping.