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Open Cities Monrovia Project

Monrovia is home to a growing population of 1.3 million inhabitants, two-thirds of whom reside in the unplanned and slum communities in lowlands and swamps. Today, Monrovians' placement in low-elevation coastal areas and swampy flood-prone land has become a dangerous factor for residents’ health and employment. In some slum communities, heavy rainfall and low elevations mean year-round flooding. Almost 90 percent of the population is living at risk of flooding from the sea, river system, swampland and clogged drains. 


Addressing this challenge requires innovative, open, and dynamic data collection and mapping processes to support the management of urban growth and disaster risk. iLab Liberia, in partnership with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and OSM Liberia are implementing the Open Cities Monrovia project: generating data to help unplanned settlements and slum communities be more resilient to flooding and other natural disasters.


Open Cities Monrovia is a participatory mapping project in two unplanned settlements of the capital city that is collecting geospatial data to plan for adaptive measures around seasonal flooding, poor sanitation, and drainage infrastructure. Improved datasets on flooding will help government and development partners to make more refined policies around causes of flooding - both man-made and climate change induced - and to design programs to minimize future occurrences.


Open Cities Africa is a project supported by The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), specifically its Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI). GFDRR is a partnership of the World Bank, United Nations, major donors and recipient countries under the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) system; OpenDRI supports World Bank Regional Disaster Risk Management Teams to build capacity and long-term ownership of open data projects with client countries that are tailored to meet specific needs and goals of stakeholders. The Open Cities Africa project is being carried out in 11 cities across Sub-Saharan Africa, engaging local government, civil society, and the private sector to develop the information infrastructures necessary to meet 21st century urban resilience challenges.

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