Collegium Helveticum
Β© Xolelwa Maha
Fellow Project 2023–2024

Energy in the Inclusive City
Towards Equitable Energy Access in Cities with High Informality

More than ten percent of people globally (about one billion people) live in low-income, urban informal settlements. Many of them lack reliable electricity for household use, economic activity, or public light. Yet, there is little comprehensive data about how many lack access, so it is hard to know the scale of the problem or find solutions. This project draws on large language models and other language processing techniques to estimate the scale of the problem by building a comprehensive database of existing, but disparate information.

Despite an international push for β€œinclusive” cities and energy for all, without access in informal settlements, this vision cannot be achieved. Yael hypothesizes that using the database to build a visualization tool targeted at policymakers will draw needed attention from the international development community and inspire policy solutions. She will draw on a transdisciplinary array of thinkers to build this tool and aims to see whether it can be used to define a target for electricity access in informal settlements that can be adopted by international development frameworks, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.