The Role of Social Media in the Civic Co-Management of Urban Infrastructure Resilience

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Tomas Holderness1, Etienne Turpin2 and Rohan Wickramasuriya2, (1)University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia, (2)University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
As cities evolve to become increasingly complex systems of people and interconnected infrastructure the impacts of extreme events and long term climatological change are significantly heightened (Walsh et al. 2011). Understanding the resilience of urban systems and the impacts of infrastructure failure is therefore key to understanding the adaptability of cities to climate change (Rosenzweig 2011). Such information is particularly critical in developing nations which are predicted to bear the brunt of climate change (Douglas et al., 2008), but often lack the resources and data required to make informed decisions regarding infrastructure and societal resilience (e.g. Paar & Rekittke 2011).

We propose that mobile social media in a people-as-sensors paradigm provides a means of monitoring the response of a city to cascading infrastructure failures induced by extreme weather events. Such an approach is welcomed in developing nations where crowd-sourced data are increasingly being used as an alternative to missing or incomplete formal data sources to help solve infrastructure challenges (Holderness 2014).

In this paper we present PetaJakarta.org as a case study that harnesses the power of social media to gather, sort and display information about flooding for residents of Jakarta, Indonesia in real time, recuperating the failures of infrastructure and monitoring systems through a web of social media connections. Our GeoSocial Intelligence Framework enables the capture and comprehension of significant time-critical information to support decision-making, and as a means of transparent communication, while maintaining user privacy, to enable civic co-management processes to aid city-scale climate adaptation and resilience.

PetaJakarta empowers community residents to collect and disseminate situational information about flooding, via the social media network Twitter, to provide city-scale decision support for Jakarta’s Emergency Management Team, and a neighbourhood-scale public information service for individuals and communities to alert them of nearby flood events.

Douglas I., et al. 2008 ENVIRONMENT & URBANIZATION


Paar P. & Rekittke J. 2011 FUTURE INTERNET


Walsh C. L., et al. 2011 URBAN DESIGN & PLANNING