The PoliVisu Toolbox is changing the way collaborative urban policy-making is done by supporting cities (with limited resources) to make effective, informed, data-driven decisions. A suite of data processing and visualisation tools coupled with a structured and tailorable methodology for introducing open (geo) data into the policy-making lifecycle helps cities overcome barriers to big data use and enables them to leverage the benefits of data analytics to build stakeholder engagement. This data-driven approach gives everyone in the policy value-chain the opportunity to gain a wider understanding of issues and options which drives fact-based policy discourse. Though the dialogue may not lead to policy consensus, satisfaction with the process is improved as everyone involved feels heard and understands why certain urban transformation decisions have been made.
The PoliVisu Toolbox offers policy experimentation and data visualisation tools, best practices, a policy knowledge base and a collection of open (geo) data. Cities can access this toolbox through PoliVisu’s own portal or through the Open Government Partnership (OGP) toolbox. The Toolbox contains a tried and tested methodology that when used with PoliVisu’s big data processing and data visualisation tools enriches the traditional policy-making process with opportunities for collaborative policy experimentation.
The PoliVisu Toolbox enable cities to test a variety of policy strategies and actions with stakeholders using local data sets (for example road sensor data on traffic flows, historic accident data, traffic light data, pedestrian data etc.) to visually simulate potential impacts. This opportunity to experiment with policy options ensures cities can explore complex systemic urban problems, which require innovative thinking to develop transformative and sustainable solutions, without the need to deploy multiple, costly test pilots.
Thanks to PoliVisu, city operation managers and policy-makers can work together more effectively to solve their transport and land-use related dilemmas. For example, the balancing of long-term infrastructure planning vs. short-term initiatives to ease congestion. Furthermore, as a result of PoliVisu introducing well-defined processes for data governance and decision-making into the transport domain (and even beyond - taking the link with other policy domains into account), the operational capacity of other city sectors to use data to optimise their policy-making also increases.
By selecting a combination of tools, techniques, processes and best practices from the Polivisu Toolbox appropriate to their local needs, policy-makers can ensure everyone and anyone with an interest in transport and land-use policy, regardless of technical background, may participate in the experimentation of different strategies and actions by exploring one shared version of the challenge (e.g. location map, heat map or other forms of visual display) regarding a current situation. Using this shared baseline, stakeholders can together change data parameters to simulate policy impacts and explore the pros and cons of different strategies and decision paths. Together the PoliVisu tools and methodology help cities to engage and harness the collective intelligence of their stakeholders for collaborative solution development ensuring both short-term management decisions and long-term strategic policy alignment and working together to deliver cohesive and effective urban transformation.
PoliVisu enhances public involvement and support in urban policy making, by equipping decision makers with the skills and tools - from open (geo) data processing to advanced visualisations - to use big data for collaborative policy experimentation. As a result, the city makes better sustainable policy decisions and city operations are managed more effectively.