Wednesday July 21, 2021

Innovative Data for Urban Planning: The Opportunities and Challenges of Public-Private Data Partnerships

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Rapid urbanisation will be one of the most pressing and complex challenges in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs) for the next several decades. With cities in Africa and Asia expected to add more than one billion people, urban populations will represent two-thirds of the world population by 2050. This presents LMICs with an interesting opportunity and challenge, where rapid urbanisation can both contribute to economic or poverty growth.

The rapid pace and unequal character of urbanisation in LMICs has meant that not enough data has been generated to support urban planning solutions and the effective provision of urban utility services. Data-sharing partnerships between the public and private sector can bridge this data gap and open up an opportunity for governments to address urbanisation challenges with data-driven decisions. Innovative data sources such as mobile network operator data, remote sensing data, utility services data and other digital services data, can be applied to a range of critical urban planning and service provision use cases.

This report identifies challenges and enablers for public-private data-sharing partnerships (PPPs) that relate to the partnership engagement model, data and technology, regulation and ethics frameworks and evaluation and sustainability.

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