OSM and Urban planning

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OSM and Urban planning

john whelan-2
In my mind I'd always thought about using OSM for urban planning to be something for places with little money such as the third world but it appears that in many places the economic boundaries of a city do not coincide with the political boundaries and different levels of government are involved in transport planning for example.

Locally in Ottawa we have two city councils, two provinces, federal government and something called the NCC all involved in transportation projects.

Rail lines and bus lines are justified by how many households are on the line and how many businesses.

So how does this impact OpenStreetMap?

We are seeing a lot of buildings either being imported or mapped currently across the world.  I'm not sure what the percentage of buildings and building tags are but I suspect it is an increasing part of the database. 

An apartment block has a lot of households so I can see an interest in adding the number of apartments.

NGOs want to minimise the number of things such as clinics but at the same time maximise the number of people who can access them.

Some groups are questioning city planners and using open source tools to draw up alternative plans.  In Ottawa for example with at least six sources of data it makes sense to use something like OSM to get everything in the same format.

Commerical companies such as UrbanSim are using open data and use OpenStreetMap in their presentations.  UrbanSim is a University spin off so not quite a conventional commercial company and the same University does provide a number of free open source programs to do planning on github.

Locally a mapper is interested in adding BIAs or Business Improvement Areas.

Land use by local city planners is divided into zones with local names such as IP4 or TD3.

I'm not sure we should do anything at all but I think we should at least be aware that OSM will start to see more urban planning related input and it might be time to think about what the implications are.

Do we need some sort of standardised names in place of IP$ and BIA for example?

Cheerio John



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