Planning the City of Tepic with New Technologies and Citizen Participation

In this guest post Alberto Partida from the Municipality Planning Institution of Tepic, Mexico, shares his thoughts about the importance of collaboration between citizens and organizations in order to build better cities.

This a translated blog post from Alberto Partida, who is in charge of the Municipality Planning Institution of Tepic. Tepic is the capital of Nayarit, which is the south western region of Mexico near the Pacific. We talked with Alberto during a visit to the state while mapping the Pueblo Magico of Jala and the archeological site of Ixtlan, with Juan Manuel Cancino from Hackers & Founders Tepic. This is Alberto's story.

This year the Municipality Planning Institution, known as IMPLAN (Instituto Municipal de Planeación) of Tepic formalized its relationship with Mapillary, which has been a strategic partnership to help the organization use new technologies to manage the terroritory. Thanks to this relationship, Tepic has become the city with the largest crowdsourced visual map in the state of Nayarit, built with the help of a network of volunteers that have come together in this collaborative project.

The City of Tepic, the IMPLAN Tepic and the general population of the city can now have access to updated images of their surroundings. This without a doubt will help them with the different tasks and needs of the neighborhoods, but also will be a base for answering future needs. In particular, IMPLAN Tepic has established some goals, for example reinforcing the work for the Sustainable Mobility Urban Planning of the city and the Territorial Ordering Plan of the metropolitan zone of Tepic. These are strategic documents that will enable future growth for the city and with the help of tools like Mapillary, planning for it will be done with the help of citizens and public organizations collaborating together.

IMPLAN's role in city planning

At IMPLAN we work to reinforce the data collection tasks around geostatistics, so that as an organization we can start consolidating the constant efforts of our volunteers. This can be used by the municipality of Tepic but also its citizens to find solutions to problems that the city is facing. The purpose is to build the foundation of an open data platform that citizens can have access to with updated information on the surroundings of the city, which is achieved with help of Mapillary’s service. IMPLAN Tepic’s focus is to become an enabler in the design of public regulations in the municipality and to build strong bonds with the rest of the public institutions of the local government. That is why it is important to provide accurate information that can be useful to any citizen and organization.

With Mapillary our photo mapping initiatives have been focused in zones near the Historical Center of Tepic, in some neighborhoods where IMPLAN has done several urban studies and community work. We are also planning to identify drainage infrastructure, areas of heavy traffic and runway conflicts, and also public spaces in all the Metropolitan Zone of Tepic.

Personnel from IMPLAN has been trained and has been provided with electronic equipment for this initiative with the help of Mapillary. This is the first time computer vision technologies have been used in urban planning in Tepic and we are convinced it will set a precedent and empower citizens to collaborate with IMPLAN, making Tepic part of this open and collaborative network of cities.

As an urban planner, I see that IMPLAN can offer relevant information to any public institution to have an impact on citizens' lives, and provide data that can help organizations face this century’s challenges. Citizenship participation and innovation come together to build a vision together with local, national and global organizations to meet any city's goals. Without a doubt, IMPLANs are fundamental to manage and build human settlements in the paradigm of change in territory planning of cities and habitable land.

By leveraging technology and empowering a network of volunteers and civil society, we will build better cities and, most importantly, create the necessary spaces for healthier environments where citizens can live.

If you want to discuss how you can leverage street-level photos to improve infrastructure planning in your city, get in touch.

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