13 November 2019

Improving urban landscapes through crowdsourcing

Options Winter 2019/20: The CityOases crowdsourcing app aims to address some of the challenges to healthy, happy living in the city of Vienna using crowdsourced data to revive green spaces and promote sustainable urban development.

© Tommyandone | Dreamstime

© Tommyandone | Dreamstime

Crowdsourcing apps have empowered users to find more efficient routes of transportation, better deals on accommodation, and much more. Now, there is an app that can improve everyday city life by crowdsourcing information on everything from a great restaurant for a
date, to cool spots perfect for escaping heatwaves.

In any urban environment, there are open spaces that can be used in a variety of ways. The new CityOases app lets users pick an activity and then displays where they can find a suitable place for it in the city according to other users, who can upload ratings and pictures. Users can also add new locations to the map and contribute their opinions around noise, cleanliness, and other criteria.

The CityOases app currently focuses on Vienna and is a pilot project coordinated by IIASA as part of the LandSense Citizen Observatory, an international research project funded by the European Commission.

The goal of the project is to stimulate civic engagement, foster citizen-powered science, and advance environmental monitoring practices. The hope is that the data from CityOases can be used to foster the distribution, diversity, and quality of green and open spaces.

"There are many challenges to healthy, happy living in the modern, urban environment,” explains Inian Moorthy, a researcher in the IIASA Ecosystems Services and Management Program. “The goal of the CityOases app is to address some of these challenges using crowdsourced data to revive green spaces and promote sustainable urban development.”

By Jeremy Summers

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Last edited: 21 November 2019


Inian Moorthy

Research Scholar

Novel Data Ecosystems for Sustainability Research Group|Advancing Systems Analysis Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 465

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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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