New Perspectives of Data Ecosystem for Sustainable City: Izmir Roundtable
Epidemics, drought, forest fires, floods, earthquakes… Disasters around the world are becoming more diverse, more frequent, and cause significant socioeconomic damage. As emphasized by the World Bank, “unplanned urbanization and lack of effective building regulation” are major drivers of natural disasters losses. In this context, one of the cornerstones of the plans and regulations that will make cities more resilient in the face of disasters is the data ecosystem of cities.
The Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV), with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, has been focusing on one concept of sustainable cities every year since 2016 as part of the "Supporting Sustainable Cities" program. While e-participation, women's participation, inclusive governance, innovation, data-driven local politics, strengthening the data ecosystem, access to data, and community-driven data/volunteer geographic information have been studied so far under this program, the " New Perspectives of Data Ecosystem for Sustainable City " project, which is carried out in the 8th year of the program, brings together the stakeholders of cities that may be related to data ecosystem, with a focus on disaster data, to share experiences and discuss how cities can be made more resilient to disasters.
Turkey started 2023 with the earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş and Hatay. Since February 6, there have been various discussions on the recovery of the earthquake-affected region, the rebuilding of the lives of those affected by the earthquake, and preparations for other possible earthquakes. The New Perspectives of Data Ecosystem for Sustainable City project aims at contributing to these discussions with a focus on disaster data.
Disaster Experiences of Izmir
The first roundtable meeting organized within the scope of the New Perspectives of Data Ecosystem for Sustainable City project brought together in a roundtable meeting, on April 27th, data-driven disaster governance related stakeholders from civil society, academia, local governmentand private sector in Izmir. During the meeting, participants discussed how data is collected, used and shared before, during and after disasters, and made suggestions on how to improve the data ecosystem based on the experiences of the Izmir earthquake in 2020 and on their experience of aid management for the 2023 earthquakes.
All participants of the meeting agreed on the need for dialogue based coordination. Stakeholders find important to establish dialogue and collaboration among different actors of the city in order to prevent duplication of work and to benefit from each other's capacities, not only for disaster data, but also in general. Increased data sharing between stakeholders and institutions is thought to significantly strengthen the local data ecosystem.
Within the scope of the New Perspectives of Data Ecosystem for Sustainable City project, which focuses on disaster data, roundtable meetings bringing together the relevant stakeholders of the city will continue. Bursa, which is one of the cities where the possible Marmara earthquake is predicted to cause the greatest damage, and Mersin, where approximately 400 thousand people migrated after the earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş and Hatay, will be the other two stops of the roundtable meetings.