19_Cool City - Make your city cooler than ever!

Application to formulate, rate and comment suggestions to improve climate and other living conditions in your neighborhood

This project is a rewrite of this challenge https://hack.opendata.ch/project/763 .

The goal is to realize an application (web and/or mobile) where citizens can express and rate suggestions on how to improve urban open spaces (de: urbane Freiräume) throughout Switzerland in terms of the city climate and general living conditions - may the spaces be public or private. The initial idea was focused on suggestions concerning urban heat including infrastructure elements. However, the concept of suggestions to improve the neigborhood can easily and intuitivly be expanded to include suggestions about social and ecological topics in general.

The application will be map and postal address based, where users can add suggestions, such as shade structures (tents), bright colored benches, trees, water points and green facades, represented by different icons, to a specific location and be able to see and participate in active suggestions in their neighborhood. A mockup has been created and can be seen in the header slides.

The application has the goal to facilitate active discussion between the users around the presented ideas and to enable direct action to be taken. It's is similar to "Züri wie neu" which in turn is based on FixMyStreet, mySociety's map-based reporting platform for citizens. But while "Züri wie neu" is about common street problems this new application prototype focusses on proposals in/for urban spaces including private spaces like solar panels, or playgrounds in settlements.

For that purpose, users can rate suggestions and comment critically or constructively. Users can decide to support a certain suggestions, which means they will actively collaborate and work for that suggestion to be further developed and implemented. A chat function between supporters could facilitate the organization and would be the first point of contact for new supporters.

One crucial part of implementing a suggestion is to convince the owners of the respective land - private or public - or at least reach them out or even get their permission. However ownership is often opaque, which is why we strive to integrate features that allow the users to identify the owners of the respective piece of land and contact them.

This is a non-trivial problem due to the lack of available data and services which seems to be related to lay - but that's not the only reason: There seems to exist a lack of digitalization and user-orientation in survey cadastre and land register!

Our approach at the moment is to work with the API of the Swiss Public-Law Restrictions cadastre (de: ÖREB-Kataster) which at least contains contact addresses and phone. However this information is only available about the responsible land register offices which mostly only give ownership information after personal request through phone or e-mail at most. This contact information could be provided or a contact form could potentially be implemented.

This application must be privacy preserving and should be implemented based on open source software and open data, in particular OpenStreetMap (OSM) data as well as Open Governement Data. For more info about geospatial data and services (all based on OSM) see 👉 https://etherpad.wikimedia.org/p/OSM .

The source code (open source) of an initial prototype (in Flutter) can be found on following repostiories: front end https://github.com/underwhelmingToaster/coolUrbanSpaces and back end https://github.com/lbuchli/cool_urban_spaces_backend .

👋 Stefan Keller, stefan.keller@ost.ch
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Energy Data Hackdays 2021