Big Data for What? Deciphering Messages from Citizens towards Building Urban Resilience in Zimbabwe


  • Willoughby Zimunya
  • Jeofrey Matai
  • Fungai N Mukora


data analytics, urban planning, data mining, big data for development, social media


The article examines the importance of citizens as a source of real-time data for urban resilience planning and building. One of the challenges that governments face in decision-making for urban resilience planning and building is the lack of real-time and high-quality data. This challenge is being encountered despite the existence of big data. However, other countries, such as the United States of America, Spain, China and Australia, are taking advantage of the rich and all-encompassing big data obtained from citizens to craft responsive urban resilience policies and plans. Using the qualitative research methodology, interviews were used to collect primary data, whilst document analysis and desktop review were used to gather secondary data. The study revealed that with proper data mining and analytics, governments can yield invaluable data from citizens for making good decisions that promote urban resilience. It concludes that currently, with good analytical approaches, there is an opportunity for governments to formulate sound and evidence-based policies for building urban resilience partly from the rich data that is generated by citizens.