Handbook of Planning Support Science
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Handbook of Planning Support Science

Edited by Stan Geertman and John Stillwell

Encompassing a broad range of innovative studies on planning support science, this timely Handbook examines how the consequences of pressing societal challenges can be addressed using computer-based systems. Chapters explore the use of new streams of big and open data as well as data from traditional sources, offering significant critical insights into the field.
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Chapter 16: Challenging the conventional wisdom: the case of MobiLab, São Paulo, Brazil

Ciro Biderman and Daniela Coimbra Swiatek


The chapter sheds some light on a new way to procure planning support systems (PSS) at the local level in Brazil. It does so by describing and analysing the process of creation and initial operation of MobiLab – the São Paulo City Laboratory for Mobility Innovation. The laboratory was launched in an environment of old forms of management, lack of information and communication technology (ICT) systems and social-political turmoil, to find new ways of improving urban mobility in a mega city. We discuss how MobiLab introduced a new method of procurement in the public sector while abiding by the traditional and old-fashioned rules, how it opened up relevant data and how it has allowed the City of São Paulo to enter the ecosystem of innovation and to develop evidence-based public policies. We discuss the difficulties associated with this change in local governance and how the model may be applied to other cities around the world.

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