The project “Waterproofing Data” investigates the governance of water-related risks, with a focus on social and cultural aspects of data practices. Typically, data flows up from local levels to scientific “centres of expertise”, and then flood-related alerts and interventions flow back down through local governments and into communities. Rethinking how flood-related data is produced, and how it flows, can help build sustainable, flood resilient communities.
To this end, this project develops three innovative methods around data practices, across different sites and scales:
- we will make visible existing flows of flood-related data through tracing data;
- generate new types of data at the local level by engaging citizens through the creation of multi-modal interfaces, which sense, collect and communicate flood data, and;
- integrate citizen-generated data with other data using geo-computational techniques.
These methodological interventions will transform how flood-related data is produced and flows, creating new governance arrangements between citizens, governments and flood experts and, ultimately, increased community resilience related to floods in vulnerable communities of Sao Paulo and Acre, Brazil.
The project will be conducted by an international team of researchers with multiple disciplinary backgrounds from Brazil, Germany and the UK, in close partnership with researchers, stakeholders and publics of a multi-site case study on flood risk management in Brazil. Furthermore, the methods and results of this case study will be the basis for a transcultural dialogue with government organisations and local administration involved in flood risk management in Germany (GIScience Heidelberg) and the United Kingdom United Kingdom (University of Warwick).
After the kick-off event in November 2018, in June 2019 the pilot study took place in the study areas in Rio Branco and in São Paulo. It was a valuable opportunity to test the developed methods in the specific setting of the study areas. Moreover, it was an important step to get in touch with the communities and to learn more about their living conditions, their flooding experiences and the already taken flood mitigation measures. See some impressions from the workshops and the walks through the study areas in Brazil below.
For more information about the kick-off event in Brazil or for current information about our “Waterproofing Data” project please have a look at the GIScience News Blog.