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Slum Dunked Climates

Proposal for a free gamified downloadable mobile app that slum communities use to update map-based data on climate change issues

Photo of Lize Barclay
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

From a urban planning perspective slums are often located in areas that are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as floods. Their housing options are often informal and cannot withstand effects of climate change either. These communities tend to me migrants in many cases, either from other countries or the rural hinterland. Due to political, language and economic barriers they do not communicate with government authorities that can assist them on an optimal base. The idea is to develop a free downloadable gamified mobile app to assist these communities to map the incidences, along with a short data description, so that other community members can know when there are potential and existing issues. This data will then feed into the governments' disaster management systems and intelligence management systems. That will enable government to act immediately and to map changes over time to mitigate future problems. The App will enable community led planning, often within communities that are marginalized by existing political planning processes. Gamification based-information, carbon use tracker and recycling trackers can be added to the App. The gamification can be linked to benefits which are either monetary or government linked such as grants, housing and infrastructure. This will ensure community participation, increased horizontal communication between slum community members, as well as vertically between community members and government.

WHO BENEFITS?

The beneficiaries will be in the 1st instance the community members of slums that can alert each other about incidents, compete on a healthy level and gain benefits due to the gamification. The 2nd group that will benefit is government, but also linked NGOs and NPOs, that can react immediately to climate change incidents and will gather improved data for disaster management. The idea can be piloted in the slums of the southern part of Cape Town in South Africa.

HOW DOES YOUR IDEA TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE CONTEXT OF URBAN SLUMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE?

There is a tremendous need for climate change related communication, that are both in terms of intelligence and disaster management, within the slums of Cape Town. Extreme flooding in winter and fires in summer takes place increasingly, but funding from a government perspective for the development of communication systems are severely limited. The problems of climate change issues, especially in slum areas, has been widely expressed in the media by community members and other stakeholders. The various tiers of government are reacting to the matter, but are limited in terms of financial and human resources. The slum communities has approached NGOs and NPOs for assistance as well, but it is small scale and case based. In 2002 there were disastrous floods in Limpopo Province South Africa, were I was the town planner at the time. The slum areas used mud to build their houses, with a tin roof, but after consistent rain and floods, more than 200 000 people's houses were soaked away to only tin roofs by the rain and floods. The bridges were swept away and the communities could not be reached. It was impossible to communicate. In terms of prototyping, the existing use of WhatsApp is the closest to it, as community members use that to a limited extent to communicate with each other. There is a tremendous influx of migrants to the slum areas of Cape Town from all over Africa, South Africa and South Asia. This adds to silos of correspondence and engagement due to cultural and language barriers, thus the WhatsApp communities function within these constraint and it is not map based.

IN-COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

  • Yes, for two or more years

EXPERTISE

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for at least two years

GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

  • Yes

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

From 1 October 2015 I have been employed as Chief Town and Regional Planner in the Western Cape Government Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning

IS THIS A NEW OR RECENT IDEA FOR YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION? HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM WHAT YOU ARE ALREADY DOING?

It is a brand new idea, the emphasis is now strongly on innovation and linkages of planning related issues with technology, including gaming, gamification, Apps and social media.

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Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Hi Lize,

Below is some feedback from our experts. We'd love to read you responses! 

How will your idea assist community led planning?
How might this idea help in a large scale disaster?
May you provide more detail on the 'gamification' aspect of your idea? Would it privilege those who are technically literate or have the time to engage in this activity? What are the consequences of that? 

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