|Image by Masuk Ahmed, courtesy Urban Launchpad|
Dhaka is one of the world’s most densely populated, poorly designed, noisy, poorly administered and difficult to live in cities in the world. But on the brighter side it is also one of the cheapest cities to live. Only a small portion of the population of Dhaka has private transport. The public transport is available for the masses but not that efficient with virtually no workable map of the transport lines. But Dhaka may have a savior.
A bunch of entrepreneurs including architects, geeks and adventurers have launched a platform called The Urban Launchpad. Founded in 2011, it is a social-venture dedicated to building open urban info-structures in places around the world that need it the most.
Their latest project is the Bus Map of Dhaka and here is why:
In Dhaka, car ownership is at a low 1%, which means now is the critical time to shore up the alternatives and the 5 million plus ridership bus system (one of the largest in the world) is perhaps the best place to start. [..] Riding a bus in Dhaka, however, requires a bit of bravery (as we found out). First, since the informal network is a hodgepodge of services from private operators who manage their fleets independently, it is difficult for both a visitor and a lifelong local to figure out which bus goes where. There are few official bus stops and no signage that matches the buses or the stops.What is interesting that Urban Launchpad is using crowdsourcing to gather information. They have coined the term Flocksourcing (Flocks + Mobiles) which will help rapid generation of urban data. The initial design brief can be found here:
If you believe this project can make a difference please consider donating at their Kickstarter page. Also please keep an eye on its blog for updates.