Climate Change, Digital Data Commons & the Politics of Urban Transport in African Cities


CID Speaker Series presents Jacqueline (Jackie) Klopp, Co-Director and Research at Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable Urban Development. She discusses climate change, digital data commons, and the politics of urban transport in African cities.

Many rapidly growing African cities are experiencing large-scale transportation investment in a time of climate change and deep inequalities. Current choices around this critical urban infrastructure will have enormous impacts on the future- on public health, land use, carbon emissions, and overall urban livability with the danger of high carbon, low livability lock-in. Despite the importance of these decisions, they tend to be made in profoundly exclusive ways. Using Nairobi as a case study, this talk explores the politics of decision-making in the urban transport sector and argues that one important approach to enhancing accountability and advocacy for more just, low carbon transport in African cities involves nurturing locally driven “Digital Data Commons”. Such open, shared, and publicly discussed data on transportation, equity, and emissions, can enhance transparency on impacts of decisions and help provoke badly needed, more inclusive planning and investment conversations.


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