Written by 16:48 English

A platform for sustainable communities

Researchers and Professionals from the Sustainable Urban Development Center (CEDEUS, in Spanish) created a Municipal Platform or Plataforma Municipal (plataformamunicipal.cedeus.cl), a tool that allows seeing the 30 sustainability indicators prepared by the Center. Its goal is to contribute to public policy decision-making and the work of the technical/professional teams of local Chilean governments.

By Paulina Véjar and Javiera Ortiz / paulivejar@udec.cl; javiera.ortiz@uc.cl / Photographs: CEDEUS

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The development and application of indicators that describe and monitor the sustainability of cities have gained strength in recent years, as these provide an easy-to-understand and reliable overview of their status, and can be used to support decision-making.

CEDEUS lead researcher, Luis Fuentes, explains that this new platform “looks to become a support for local councils, on providing relevant information for decision making on their planning matters using sustainability criteria”.

Creation of urban sustainability indicators

Due to the lack of urban sustainability indicators in Chile, and the emerging need for their monitoring by researchers, the government, and decision-makers, the Center set up a panel with researchers from different areas to create the Sustainability Indicators the platform uses, something quite novel in the country.

Just as the professional of the Center, and geographer from Universidad de Concepción, Helen de la Fuente, explained, thanks to this entire process, the platform allows “visualizing a map and information of the communes, reading a description of the indicator, the year, and the sustainability thresholds, which are complemented by graphs”

Starting from a bibliographical review, 574 urban sustainability indicators were identified. These were then analyzed and discussed by CEDEUS researchers. From these, 21 were chosen, which were then included in a pilot program in the city of Valdivia. Thanks to this process, another
nine were added, increasing the measurement system to 30 urban sustainability indicators, grouped into the categories of environment, health, equality, accessibility, and governance.

Contributions for decision-makers

Regarding the valuation of the CEDEUS Municipal Platform, the cartographer of the Biobio Regional Government, Joselyn San Juan Osorio, said that “this is a very good initiative. We have revised the platform and we are happy with the number of indicators being handled, as this is pretty user friendly”. The local councils of La Pintana and Puerto Varas will be the first ones to use the platform for their planning work.

Regarding the incorporation of more communes in the Platform, CEDEUS Observatory’s coordinator and researcher at the Center, Stefan Steiniger, invited more regional governments and local councils to contribute to the platform, “we want to work together and the idea is that
the platform grows more, to contribute to public policy decision-making”.

Meanwhile, Rodolfo Arriagada, PNUD consultant in the National Urban Development Council, outlined the importance of this type of project: “These initiatives, that look to democratize information and are open to the citizens, are very valuable, as they allow establishing a baseline to measure and provide an overview of Chilean cities”.

For more information: helen.dlf@gmail.com and rtruffel@uc.cl

Last modified: 1 de junio de 2023