The Center of Sustainable Urban Development is proud to have helped build the DigitalMatatus project. This work led to a lot of requests for help from others who wanted to use GPS enabled cell-phones to build up data and create useful tools for improving public transport. Hence, we realized we needed an institutionalized resource center that would actually be an anchor for a collaborative community. After a critical get together in Paris with African mappers and cities hosted by the French Development Agency in 2017, we started to build together #DigitalTransport4Africa, a new collaborative digital commons and global community that works to support inclusive, safe and green urban mobility and public transport projects through open data and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing.
Currently, in many of the world’s cities public transport data is simply missing for research, planning integrated public transport, designing passenger information systems, and working with operators to upgrade transit services. This is particularly acute in African cities where a great deal of the transport is called “informal” and not adequately addressed within a planning process even though these buses, tuktuks, motorcycles and bicycles are critical to the functioning of cities.
To leverage technology to build needed transport data, build tools for better data collection, use and visualization and share all the data, tools and knowledge to support improvements in public transport, we came together with the French Development Agency, World Resource Institute among other partners (see below) to create an open sharing platform called DigitalTransport4Africa. On this platform you can find shared data, tools, people, resources to help fill the critical data gap for African cities. With support from the InterAmerican Development Bank a similar platform was set up for Latin American cities called #DATUM. CSUD continues to support the building of these “digital commons” communities and also explore the impact of how these communities can improve public transport research, planning and service delivery.
#DigitalTransport4 Africa Team