Open Urban Planning Toolbox: open data for cities in LatAm

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) created this tool to advance urban development in Latin America with open data.

The Housing and Urban Development Division of the IADB presented the Open Urban Planning Toolbox, a toolkit for each step of urban planning, from initial design to project execution and evaluation.

The tool uses open data and code. The academic and private sector experience was taken advantage of in projects financed by the IADB in Guyana to develop it. The agency shared tools of the IADB’s Code for Development initiative and invited planners and technologists to use and improve them.

Open Urban Planning Toolbox solves an increasing problem

In Latin America, 80% of the population is already urban. This figure represents opportunities for the region but also challenges in the planning of cities.

Open Urban Planning Toolbox has open source tools that use machine learning and mass collaboration data to advance urban development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The IDB’s Housing and Development Division created this tool after continually listening to the phrase “We do not have data on this” in the urban development projects of the region.

“The cities of Latin America and the Caribbean should be prepared to generate, analyze and disseminate data of cities. However, many times, our partners do not have the necessary tools to make their daily work more efficient, ” the developers of the tool wrote in the blog Open to the Public.

The technology to support urban development work is often too expensive, so they saw in the open source tools an alternative to these.

The IADB presented the Toolbox with four tools, focused on data-driven planning and design for tasks such as the collection, verification, and management of urban and territorial data. Of these tools, two include machine learning techniques.

The IADB will incorporate other urban development projects into the Open Urban Planning Toolbox to offer contextual analysis that allows modeling and understanding dynamic urban systems.

Context of urbanization in LatAm