Can Tho, Vietnam – July 23 – August 2, 2017: New model for data management and urban planning introduced to government agencies

An exciting new era for data management and urban planning practices in Can Tho has just begun, moving the city closer to its goal of becoming a Smart City.

In late July and early August, an ICEM team participated in a project inception mission to Can Tho City to kick-off the Community Mapping for Can Tho project, an Open Cities project of the Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI) funded by the World Bank (WB), and is part of the technical assistance being implemented through the larger Can Tho Urban Development and Resilience Project. The community mapping project will introduce an open data model using the OpenStreetMap (OSM) platform (openstreetmap.org) to communicate geospatial information that can guide community and data-driven planning and urban development.

OSM is a reliable, free, and user-friendly community mapping platform that improves access to data and enhances the urban planning capabilities of governments, researchers, citizens, and private companies. The mapping portal developed for Can Tho City will include map layers of urban infrastructure, community assets, demographics, and vulnerable areas. The OSM platform will allow communities to collect and disseminate data in an open and participatory manner and to build and refresh the status of existing infrastructure and demographics, which is essential to proactively adapt to climate change and to invest wisely in flood risk reduction. Ultimately, the project will create an indispensable resource for efficiently and effectively guiding overall city sustainable development.

The inception mission inspired both excitement and trepidation regarding integrating a new data management model into the city’s longstanding practices. The team was able to develop strong relationships with local partners, the Mekong Delta Development Research Institute (MDI) and DRAGON Research Institute for Climate Change (DI) of Can Tho University, city government departments including Can Tho Project Management Unit (PMU), and the World Bank (WB).

The project inception workshop took place on July 28th, attracting participation from various government departments, project partners, and the WB. The open data concept and benefits, and the potential of the OSM mapping platform for improved data management and urban planning were introduced to participants.

Participants Can Tho OSM workshop

Following the workshop, the PMU and the project team conducted field visits throughout the city to study areas frequently exposed to flooding and erosion. These will be considered high-priority mapping areas for the project.

In the coming months, the team will continue to work with local partners and city government departments to collect and standardize data. Non-sensitive city data will be integrated into the OSM mapping platform, and interns will be trained to develop the OSM basemap for Can Tho.

The project will be implemented over a nine month period and is scheduled for completion by April 2018.