Data for Resilient Cities

Data for Resilient Cities

Podcast details

Launched on 15 October 2020

8 Episodes

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Introduction to the Podcast Series

In this introduction episode to the podcast series on Data for Resilient Cities, Shaily Gandhi in conversation with Simon Hodson, explains the idea of Data interoperability is an essential step to understanding complex systems and to create the knowledge needed to drive effective policy. The importance of data for making the city resilient. The structure of the podcast series is discussed which offers a rich collection of conversations, case studies and audio essays by eminent thinkers, practitioners, public decision-makers and policy advocates recall and reflect, discuss critical issues and point out the way forward. The episodes are of two categories: one engages with larger and fundamental concepts of interoperability; the other with data sharing for interdisciplinary studies within and across various domains. 
 
Dr. Simon Hodson has been Executive Director of CODATA.  Simon is an expert on data policy issues and research data management. He has contributed to influential reports on Current Best Practice for Research Data Management Policies and to the Science International Accord on Open Data in a Big Data World.  Most recently he chaired the European Commission’s Expert Group on FAIR Data which produced the report Turning FAIR into Reality https://doi.org/10.2777/1524. As part of his CODATA role, Simon is closely involved in an ISC and CODATA initiative to improve the coordination of standards for data integration and interoperability for interdisciplinary research and in the coordination of the CODATA Data Policy Committee.

Dr. Shaily Gandhi is Manager IT and Geospatial solution at CRDF. She is a alumni of CODATA/RDA Summer school, She is one of the initiated Leads for the CODATA Connect Working group and a co-opted member of CODATA Executive Committee. She has completed her Ph.D. degree from CEPT University in 2018. She is also a faculty at CEPT University. She has been working on  implementation of GIS and data science in the domain of Urban Analytics.


Implementing Integrated Systems to Scale Up the Urban Resilience

In this episode of Implementing Integrated Systems to Scale up the Urban Resilience, Stephen Passmore in conversation with Loveleen Garg, talks about the importance of having cross-domain integration for making cities infrastructure more resilient. The conversation is led with illustrations of enhanced data use and analytics and the common pathway of data science. The two speakers also talk about implications of data disclosure such as privacy, accuracy and interoperability. In the end, the episode focuses on a global scenario on common data standards which can help to scale up the sustainable infrastructure for cities.

Stephen Passmore, CEO, Resilience Brokers. Based in London, UK, Stephen is a passionate advocate for collective action by fostering links between research, policy, and action on the topics of sustainable and resilient cities and regions. Stephen joined the Resilience Brokers team in 2014 and has been leading the development and deployment of resilience.io an integrated, open-source platform for collaborative, low-carbon, city-region planning, investment and development.

Loveleen Garg has more than 20+ years of exposure in conceptualisation, designing, execution and operations of large scale infrastructure projects (PPP/ Public). Engineer with post graduation in Environmental Planning, has hands on experience in sustainable planning of Green Field smart City, Airports, SEZs, Power Plants, Ports and large urban development projects. EIA/ EC/ Sustainability reporting, Envn Compliance, Green Buildings and implementation of various ISO EMS, EnMS, OHSAS, CAMS etc had been other areas of working. In aviation, he has hands-on experience in implementing environmental and sustainability frameworks. He has lead the sustainability core team involved in implementing the carbon accounting and management system at Mumbai Airport and getting airport carbon accreditation for Level 1 (mapping) in 2012 and upgrading it to Level 2 (reduction) in 2013.

He played a key role in publishing the CSIA Sustainability Report 2012 as per GRI G3.1 guidelines, along with sector supplement with GRI application level check-A, the first of its kind in the Indian aviation sector. He has lead the team to work on the First Sustainability Report as per G4 guidelines by an Airport in the world. He has been involved in process re-engineering and business excellency to achieve sustainability goals. He has experience in developing and auditing various management systems (EMS ISO 14001, EnMS50000, OHSAS18000, CAMS ISO14064), designing and implementing GHG reduction programs, energy saving initiatives and projects registration under CDM protocol. He is also associated with academia and has delivered expert lectures & examined project works in Master’s Program related to environment & sustainability.


Role of data for COVID response using Gujarat, India and London, UK as examples

In this episode of the podcast series, Prof. Virginia Murray in a conversation with Dr. Dileep Mavalankar talks about the COVID-19 pandemic and the exposure to the virus across the world. She discusses the impact of COVID on city of London. Dr. Mavalankar shares India's fight with the virus and the results so far. They also talk about the importance of using data by governments to monitor health of the citizens and about the ground reality of COVID and its spread in India in spaces such as old age homes, subsequently leading to deaths. They also discuss in-depth about methods used by countries as they continue to fight with the pandemic, and the importance of data-driven policies. Actions taken in India, technology used to gather data and its analysis are some of the key elements of this episode.  

Prof. Dileep Mavalankar has been heading the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar as its Director since 2012. Dr. Mavalankar received an MBBS and MD in Preventive and Social Medicine from Gujarat University in Ahmedabad, and MPH and Dr. P.H from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, USA. His work experience includes faculty and research positions in NHL Municipal Medical College, Ahmedabad, National Institute of Health in Bethesda, USA, Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India and Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, NY, USA. He has worked as consultant to many agencies including Columbia University, Mother Care Project (USA), the WHO (Geneva, Western Pacific Regional Office), UNICEF (New Delhi), DANIDA, UNDP/World Bank (India), the Aga Khan Foundation, CEDPA etc. Dr. Mavalankar has authored several publications. He has been adviser to key academic and government organizations and NGOs.

Prof. Virginia Murray is public health doctor committed to improving data access and transparency for effective reporting. She was appointed as Head of Global Disaster Risk Reduction (GDRR) for Public Health England in April 2014 and in 2020 has been working additionally as a Senior Public Health Advisor for COVID-19. She is a member of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) scientific committee, co-sponsored by the International Science Council (ISC) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and Co-Chair of IRDR’s Disaster Loss Data (DATA), and currently member of CODATA Executive Committee She is co-chair of the WHO Thematic Platform Health and Disaster Risk Management Research Network. By working in collaboration with this network she has been one of the editors of the WHO Guidance on Research Methods for Health and Disaster Risk Management, published in September 2020. She is the Chair of the UNDRR/ISC Hazard Classification and Review Technical Working Group, and the report was published in July 2020. She is a visiting/honorary Professor at several universities.


Towards a Paradigm shift for Open Data in Planning for Urban Sustainability, Livability and Resilience

In the latest episode of the podcast series ‘Data for Resilient Cities,’ Darren Robinson starts a conversation on urban sustainability, resilience, and liveability with Avanish Pendharkar. He talks about the complexities of urban systems and their challenges. They also discuss how cities need to build a culture towards data collection, management, and publication to plan for sustainability, while also focussing on a policy framework to openly allow the use of publicly available data for planning and economic development. They discuss examples of data collection approaches in the UK and in India, like RERA where regulatory approaches have helped crowdsource data. They go on to talk about how these top-down differ from bottom-up approaches to obtaining data, and the opportunities and challenges that these approaches bring. In the end, the two advocate for the need for a policy framework and adoption of FAIR data practices in the collection and dissemination of data in an open-source format that cities and urban local bodies could adopt. 

Avanish is the Executive Director of CUPP. He is an urban planner from Georgia Tech and an urban designer from SPA, New Delhi, with over 20 years of international work experience.  He has had the privilege of working on large and complex planning projects and programs including the FIFA Qatar program. He has been a key member of the team that has worked on the implementation of AURIC City – one of the first large industrial cities under the DMICDC and has been a consultant for various development plans and master planning schemes for new towns and neighbourhoods.  

Darren Robinson is Professor of Architectural and Urban Sciences, School of Architecture, the University of Sheffield. He conducts research at the interface between social physics, building physics, and urban physics [people - buildings - city] and was editor and lead author of the book Computer Modelling for Sustainable Urban Design.


Monitoring SDG Goal 6: Role of City and Country Systems along with Citizens’ Voice

In this episode of Monitoring SDG Goal 6: Role of City and Country Systems along with Citizens,  Dr. Mehta and Mondardini talk about monitoring SDG 6 and local and country systems for data collection for water and sanitation. They also discuss a case study and data collection methods, data sharing policy for SDG, other global case studies, and best practices of using citizen data for water and sanitation. The two speakers also talk about the role of the city and national government in monitoring WASH at scale, and the role of Niti Aayog in India. Citizens' science is also an important element of the conversation as it makes the system very transparent and it’s very effective in terms of knowledge and education. Citizens can perform data collection, sampling, and ground-truthing which gives them a sense of ownership to the citizens. 

Dr. Meera Mehta is a Professor Emeritus at CEPT University and has 30 years of experience in water, urban development and infrastructure finance. She served as the Director of School of Planning at the University in 1992, before joining the USAID’s FIRE Project in India, and later the World Bank and its Water and Sanitation Program in Africa. In 2008, she spearheaded the Performance Assessment System (PAS) at CEPT University. The action research project supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focused on developing robust methods and processes for performance assessment and improvement of urban water supply and sanitation in India. Meera is the Joint Executive Director of the Center for Water and Sanitation and serves as the Joint Project Director for 4 projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in India. She is on the board of the Stockholm-based inter- governmental organization Global Water Partnership (GWP) and IRC, a global not-for-profit organization driving resilient WASH systems across the world through research and advocacy. She was a member of the working group for the WHO-UNICEF post-2015 deliberations for water supply and sanitation. She has studied Architecture and Urban Planning and has a Ph.D. in Economics.

Maria Rosa (Rosy) Mondardini is the Managing Director of the Citizen Science Center Zurich, a joint effort of the University of Zurich and ETH. The Center supports Citizen Science projects at both institutions, in Switzerland, and beyond. She was previously co-director at the Citizen Cyberlab in Geneva,  a partnership between CERN, UNITAR, and the UniGe focused on developing new forms of public participation in research. From 2008 to 2015 Rosy has been working at the WEF as Associate Director, managing the YGL Alumni community.


Data-driven Policy Making for Resilient Built Environments

In this episode of  Data-driven Policymaking for Resilient Built Environments,  Dr. Yash Shukla in a conversation with Jieling Liu sharing their experiences about using qualitative and quantitative data for studying indoor and outdoor built environment which is particularly important in the current context where many cities around the world are experiencing climate change impacts such as heatwaves and natural calamities. These impacts have made the world realize the urgent need for bold and innovative climate mitigation strategies. They talk also about the data life cycle in a research project and the challenges of making the data public.  In the end, the episode focuses on the efforts taken in various areas in order to enhance data-driven policymaking for making the cities more resilient. 

Dr. Yashkumar Shukla is Technical Director (Energy Systems) at Center for Advanced Research in Building Science and Energy (CARBSE), CRDF. He has more than fifteen years of international experience in building energy-efficiency research and serves as a lead on several energy-efficiency research projects at CARBSE. His current research includes calibration of simulation models, performance characterization of envelope and HVAC systems, net-zero energy buildings, and development of next-generation control algorithms. He has extensive experience in building management systems, building energy analysis, HVAC system operation, component characterization facilities, development of test chambers, building simulation modeling, and energy efficiency control algorithms His prior work experience includes providing technical support in designing and implementing commercial and residential energy-efficiency programs in the US.

Jieling Liu is pursuing her doctorate degree in the interdisciplinary program in Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon. She is also Visiting Scholar at the Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Institutional Analysis at Indiana University Bloomington between 2019-2020. Besides, Jieling is Lead Guest Editor for the journal Cities & Health special issue - Asian City Futures: Spatial form and health. She has an academic background in Political Sciences and Journalism. Jieling’s thesis examines the planning and governance of urban green spaces as common-pool resources for climate change adaptation and health under Ecological Civilisation, in the context of rapid socio-economic urban development in China, with specific case studies drawn from Guangzhou.


Role of Data in Building Resilient Cities Focus on Urban Floods

In the second episode of the podcast series titled ‘Data for Resilient Cities,’ Nitika Bhakuni starts a conversation with Stephen Diggs on climate change leading to extreme weather conditions and resulting in flooding especially in urban areas. The speakers discuss the impacts of these events on the cities and the various dimensions in understanding urban flooding.
 
Talking about planning future cities, the two put emphasis on how data can be used to build resilience in our cities by understanding the causes and impacts there off. They further explore the importance of data that is “fit-for-purpose” along with its timeless. Some of the interesting elements from their interaction highlight methods used internationally and locally in India for mitigating adverse impacts of urban floods, policy frameworks available for data sharing and the importance of financing data systems towards building resilient cities.
 
Nitika is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Planning, CEPT University. She is a geographer planner with a Doctoral Degree from CEPT University and Masters in Planning from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. With nearly 18 years of work experience in consultancy in India and the UK and over 10 years of teaching experience in India. Her expertise lies in database management, land use transport integration and equity issues for a wide range of transportation projects undertaken at CRDF, CEPT. Apart from this she is involved in organising, managing and delivering several capacity building programs for in-service transport professionals in the field of transportation.
 
Steve is the Technical Director of the Hydrographic Data Group at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  A former field engineer, he has dedicated the last three decades to the design and operation of enterprise-level geophysical information systems that seamlessly transform sensor telemetry into available data for the research community.  In addition, Steve is a member of numerous international data science teams and is co-chair of the Task Group on Improving Data Access and Reusability for the International Science Council (IDAR-TG CODATA).  He is also the 2018-2020 co-chair of the US National Science Foundation’s Council of Data Facilities.


Data-driven Geospatial Solutions to Address Community Based Challenges

In this episode of Data-driven geospatial solutions to address Community based challenges, Dr. Umamaheshwaran Rajasekar in conversation with Valrie Grant, explains the importance of Geospatial frameworks for data, its applications and challenges in community based solutions. Various community based initiatives have been discussed in particular with the example of the land registry management system, disaster management system and challenges of the last mile connectivity when it comes to data driven solutions as a whole. Further, national spatial data infrastructure initiatives have been highlighted globally with various organizations which have been involved in spreading awareness. In the end, the episode focuses on the efforts taken by organizations and the government in building awareness about the importance of geospatial data sharing policy and applications.

Dr. Umamaheshwaran Rajasekar is Chair Urban Resilience and Lead for the Climate Center for Cities at National Institute of Urban Affairs. He has over 17 years of professional experience in developing urban policy, risk modelling, climate analysis and institutional strengthening for governments, INGOs and bi-lateral agencies. As a team leader and project manager he has spearheaded pioneering data informed policy efforts in India including implementation of end to end early warning systems for urban floods, health and climate resilience. His recent work with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India is targeted towards bridging the gap between technology and society to enable informed decision making in a changing environment across 100 smart cities.
 
His work has been published as peer-reviewed journal articles, technical reports and has been commended in the form of grants and awards. His recent work on development and implementation of UrSMS which connects more than 500 hospitals in Surat, India to monitor diseases. His work was recognized as an intervention to watch, by the U.N Secretary General’s global pulse initiative.

Valrie Grant is the founder and managing director of GeoTechVision, an ICT and Spatial Technologies company in Kingston, Jamaica and Georgetown, Guyana and Miami Florida focused on delivering value through innovative solutions.  GeoTechVision is a reliable and quality provider of a range of customized services and data-driven solutions to governments, NGOs and corporate entities. Valrie is a lifelong learner, who is passionate about Technology and Entrepreneurship and relishes every opportunity to mentor women entrepreneurs and young people. She sits on several national, regional and international Boards and Committees such as the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC) and the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM): Americas Private Sector Network. Valrie is a 2020 WE Empower UN Sustainability Development Goals Challenge Awardee. 
 
She holds a BSc. in Geology from the University of West Indies and a MSc. in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the Environment from the Manchester Metropolitan University , post graduate certification in Business and Entrepreneurship; and notwithstanding a pressing schedule, is currently reading for an MBA.


Upcoming Episodes

Massive cross domain data required for understanding Intelligent Urban Systems
Massive cross domain data required for understanding Intelligent Urban Systems
29, January 2021