Karachi Futures quests to map port city through data

--The first prototype developed by the platform uses satellite imagery and remote sensing to look at green spaces in Karachi at different levels of granularity

KARACHI: Karachi Futures has developed a working prototype to look at the metropolis through the data lens, which means that satellite imagery and remote sensing would be used to look at green spaces in Karachi at different levels of granularity.

Karachi Futures is a research initiative and tech shop aiming to understand the social and economic problems of Karachi in a deeper quantitative and qualitative sense. The platform currently focuses on factors that influence environment, such as green cover and spaces, land surface temperature, urban heat island (UHI) effect, and urban build, but will bring upon more metrics to analyse Karachi.

Speaking to Profit, Karachi Futures Co-founder Hisham Sajid said that in today’s world, data and metrics about consumers are of immeasurable importance.

“Companies pay a lot of money to [develop] better understanding of their consumer. This tool and our research will help these corporations understand who they are selling to, at a much cheaper rate – since most of what we plan to build will be freely accessible to the public,” Hisham said.

The platform aims to cover gaps in the data available on Karachi. For example, environment related information is something that has been restricted to Air Quality Index (AQI), and Karachi Futures will have updated data on AQI, live green vegetation, urban build up, UHI effect.

It is being built with the long-term vision of becoming a one-stop shop for all data and insights on Karachi. The initiative utilises open data and open technology. The research platform will eventually collate and timely update historical data on 130 data points and metrics, mostly sourced via open source technology or open data sources.

Karachi Futures plans to solve Karachi’s problems by mapping and tracking them; using a set of tools and apps that will be designed as part of the platform.

The platform will enable multiple stakeholders to look at Karachi from a new dimension. It will also facilitate policymakers looking to govern better; academics, researchers, corporations and advisers to understand better, while empowering citizens to hold those in power accountable.

It also aims to help companies and corporations better understand the city in which they operate, enabling them to grow sustainably in unison with the city.
Karachi Futures Co-founder and Director Puruesh Chaudhary told Profit that for a growing city like Karachi, it is essential for the population to have quality clean air, therefore, the platform is being developed in the right direction.

The platform aims to research factors that may influence the future of Karachi with the purpose of enabling a much smarter, digital enabled and overall better city. While the platform has started with a prototype for the environment, it plans to integrate various other metrics that will be useful for the business community.

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Ariba Shahid
Ariba Shahid
The author is a business journalist at Profit. She can be reached at [email protected] or at twitter.com/AribaShahid


  1. Very good initiative for mapping and ceo fencing for our city. I work with a few NGOs which could use these services by Karachi Futures. Would appreciate if I can have their contact details.
    Thank you.

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