‘Just Side’, tool to identify social and environmental injustices in Ibero-America

A network of Ibero-American universities and companies led by the Portuguese University of Coimbra and in which the gvSIG Association participates, will develop the ‘Just Side‘ tool during the next years, a program based on the ‘geo-law‘ that will identify social and environmental injustices and its possible prevention. This tool to be developed will be made available to the governments of Ibero-American countries.

The project, which has just started now, will study 16 specific cases in territories where policies whose result has been harmful from the economic or environmental point of view for the population have been developed.

To develop ‘Just Side’, territories with difficulty to access essential public services will mainly be studied, places where infrastructures are often built with negative impacts, such as garbage dumps or incinerators.

The program will have a cartographic based solution on which variables will be overlapped, such as income per capita, type of housing, distances to public services or access to means of communication. All the information, territorial and social, will be analyzed through geospatial processes that help in the visualization and detection of problems and patterns. Precisely the gvSIG Association is part of this network as an expert in the development of Geographic Information Systems with open source software.

The future tool will have a double objective: identification of the problems related to territorial injustices and making an open source software solution available for governments, allowing that they can correct these imbalances through appropriate policies in an easy way.

In this tool, the gvSIG Association will work with 40 researchers from the universities of Buenos Aires, Santa Catarina (Brazil), Costa Rica, Santiago de Chile, the Autonomous University of Mexico, Uruguay, and the Spanish University of La Rioja, as well as the Brazilian company Geodereito. For the development of the solution the gvSIG Association will make available the Suite gvSIG, its catalog of open source software solutions for territorial information management.

As an example, in the case of Chile, the network of researchers will evaluate the initiative that the Government will launch on Easter Island, with which it intends to restore the indigenous population of this area, the mythical Rapa Nui, the lands that were snatched from them in the last century.

In this way, through the new tool different ways to make up for historical injustices will be able to be analyzed.

In the case of Portugal, the studies will focus on the reservoirs of the Upper Duero River Basin, both those that are active and those that are intended to be built, in order to analyze levels of unemployment or environmental impacts.

This Ibero-American network, financed by CYTED, and whose work will last until 2021, will be presented on April 20th at the University of Coimbra, as part of a conference where experts on geo-laws and geomatics from Portugal, Spain and Norway specialized in social vulnerability from the territory will be present.

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