Eye on Community Sustainability & Resiliency
With more that 50% of the world's 7 billion population residing in urban areas, the Eye on Community Sustainability and Resiliency Special Initiative is both an important and timely topic. It is recognised that there are numerous challenges in making these cities attractive to both residents and investors, including the need for public transportation, accessibility to potable water and the availability of green space.
The challenge of this Special Initiative is to utilise information and technology available to improve the planning, management and quality of life in these urban areas. The overarching goal of this initiative is therefore the establishment of an international forum to link current global urban sustainability and resilience initiatives to facilitate the sharing of information, concepts, challenges and solutions, including urban information infrastructure along both the North-South axis and also between cities of the South.
A pilot project entitled Geospatial Sciences for Sustainable Development in Africa aims to test the effectiveness of this model.
Within the next 3-5 years this Special Initiative aims to:
(a) Develop a framework for constructing the urban environmental baselines required to facilitate analysis and support planning at a variety of scales through the creation of datasets and maps, with an initial pilot project focusing on a specific region;
(b) Link to other urban networks and datasets to share best practice and information;
(c) Provide training to local urban management professionals in use of data and mapping techniques;
(d) Work with local universities to develop professionals in this area and to provide support to local governments who are in need of qualified staff;
(e) Sponsor focused workshops where regional urban management professionals can meet to exchange ideas on ways to use the data that is available to them to make urban areas more sustainable.