about the data platform
As part of its response to the findings of the Survey of the Built Environment Professions in the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) has created a data platform, the aim of which is to serve as an accessible source of information for all those with an interest in the subject of sustainable urbanisation in the Commonwealth.
The platform is part of the CAA’s contribution to the Commonwealth sustainable cities initiative which it has launched together with the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Commonwealth Association of Planners, the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and The Prince’s Foundation.
The collaboration recognises that the delivery of well-planned cities relies upon an increasingly more integrated and evidence-based approach and it is hoped that the platform will help contribute to increased inter-disciplinary, cross sector collaboration between different stakeholder groups.
As the world embarks upon a Decade of Action in which to achieve the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the CAA recognises the opportunity to leverage the unique power of the Commonwealth to engage with these issues and development of the platform is one of a number of initiatives with which it is involved.
what the platform currently shows
The data platform can be accessed here and currently provides the following information for Commonwealth countries:
- Rates of Urbanisation: Current rates of urbanisation (%).
- Urban population growth to 2050: Projected population growth to 2050 in figures (‘000) and in percentages (%).
- Rates of CO2 Emissions: Rates of CO2 emissions, in total CO2/annum (kt) and CO2/person/annum (t).
- Climate Risk Index: Climate Risk Index, assessed by Germanwatch.
- Gross National Income: Gross national income per capita in USD at purchasing power parity.
- Location of Capital Cities and Secondary Cities: Data on Secondary Cities supplied by Nicolas Galzara from the NYU Marron Institute of Land Management, authors of the Atlas of Urban Expansion.
- Built Environment Professionals: All known professional institutes representing built environment professionals, ie architects, engineers, town planners and quantity surveyors, together with ratios of built environment professionals per 1,000 head of population where these are known.
- Universities: Commonwealth members of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the UN Habitat University Partnership (UNI), members of the Association of African Planning Schools (APPS) and the African Urban Research Institute (AURI).
- Local Government: Members of the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network (CSCN), managed by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.
For instructions on how to operate the data platform, click the ‘Launch GIS’ button at the top of the right-hand menu on this page and then navigate to the ‘i’ (Information) button in the top left-hand menu once in the GIS (beneath the label ‘Data Platform’). Note that some data may not be visible until the map is magnified sufficiently.
Unless otherwise shown, information has been sourced from the Survey of the Built Environment Professions in the Commonwealth, UN Habitat and the World Bank. Our intention is to further develop and enrich the platform over time.
In 2017, the CAA undertook a Survey of the Architectural Profession in the Commonwealth which uncovered a critical lack of capacity in many of the Commonwealth countries which are urbanising most rapidly and are among the most vulnerable.
In 2019, the CAA, together with professional counterparts at the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP), the Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE) and the Commonwealth Engineers Council (CEC), undertook an updated survey which revealed the situation to be similar among all four disciplines and even more extensive than first reported.
With nearly 50% of the projected increase in the worlds urban population to 2050 is forecast to be in the Commonwealth, architects and built environment professionals have a critical role to play in helping to achieve a more sustainable future for all.
If you are interested in the data platform and would like to become involved in its development, then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The data platform is being developed jointly by the CAA and Joseph Walters, a PhD student at the Nottingham Geospatial Institute, University of Nottingham. The Commonwealth Association of Architects would like to express its thanks to all contributing organisations, and to Esri (UK) Ltd for accepting us as a member of its Non-Profit Programme and enabling the use of their industry standard Geographic Information System known as ArcGIS.