This article is available also in spanish here

Open data: how can they improve citizen engagement and the economy?

My list

Author | Arantxa HerranzE-purchasing, commuting, leisure visits… We keep adding more information to what we know as big data. And when all this information is public, open and accessible by any individuals or entities, it is called open data. In cities, these data offer an opportunity to improve the efficiency, productivity and creativity of the city councils that own these data and the companies and entities that are capable of using them.

Although it began as a gentle tide, the truth is that a growing number of governments, private companies and cities are joining the open data trend. Particularly because the benefits (and the value) of shared data are increasingly clear. Open data programmes and policies can do a great deal to help cities to be more efficient, sustainable, resilient and prosperous, and more receptive to citizens’ requirements and more transparent in their transactions.

From preventing disasters to saving money

But, how can all that data be used to improve cities? There are plenty of success stories and in very different areas.For example, in Nepal, data about schools and health facilities were used to create maps with the areas most affected by natural disasters, which has helped save lives.Another very different case is that of various government agencies in the United Kingdom. All these administrations were spending money on the same things without even knowing it.

By using and cross-referencing these open data they realised where there were duplicities and they were able to prevent these, resulting in the subsequent savings.Meanwhile, the Baltimore Open Air project obtains data about air quality through sensors called WeatherCubes. These data are used to monitor certain climate variables (such as temperature, humidity, the ozone and nitrogen dioxide) to reduce air contamination.

The power of the people

These open data also help improve citizen engagement and a sense of community. Mexico, for example, has the Improve Your School project. Funded by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), it is a platform offering information about school performance, designed to help parents choose the best option for their children. It also enables them to demand better quality education and offers them tools to get involved in their children’s education. It also provides school administrators, politicians and NGOs with data to identify areas that require improvements.

Uruguay has the A Tu Servicio (At Your Service) initiative, empowering citizens to make data-driven decisions on healthcare. Each February, they can decide whether or not to change their healthcare provider. In the country’s mixed public-private healthcare system, various factors affect the decision-making process: the location of the healthcare provider, the number of doctors and paediatricians available, opening hours, etc.

Standards for municipal open data

This open data trend in cities is so powerful that the World Council on City Data (WCCD) has been created. The aim of all these cities forming part of this organization is to improve the services and quality of life in cities thanks to these data. Barcelona, for example, is one of the cities that, thanks to its open data portal, is considered a Platinum member.There is also an international standard, the ISO 37120, which certifies the sustainable development of cities.This regulation was published in May 2014, and it was the first international standard on city data.

This new international standard was developed using the framework of the Global City Indicators Facility, which has been tested in over 250 cities worldwide. ISO 37120 defines and establishes definitions and methodologies for a set of indicators to steer and measure the performance of city services and quality of life.The standard includes a complete set of 100 indicators, of which 46 are basic, and measure the social, economic and environmental performance of a city.The indicators are classified in 17 subjects about city services and quality of life: economy, education, energy, environment, finances, response to emergencies, government, health, leisure, safety, refugees, waste, telecommunications and innovation, transport, urban design, energy and water efficiency and health.Thanks to public-private collaboration, the management of these open data and the processing thereof, can help city councils to manage and make informed decisions through data analysis, from an objective reference point.

The aim is for municipal governments to have a better return on their investments and for these data to also enable plans and frameworks to be drawn up that foster sustainable urban development.And, of course, for all of this to be assessed again with new data, so the impact of infrastructure projects on the general performance of a city can be analysed.Images | Pexels

Related content
Kenya's Konza Techno City: Is the project well planned?
Kenya's Konza Techno City: Is the project well planned?
Columbus, the smart city leading by example
Columbus, the smart city leading by example
Innovation and e-governance: which countries are at the forefront of digital government development?
Innovation and e-governance: which countries are at the forefront of digital government development?
There’s no smart city without a smart government
There’s no smart city without a smart government
As cities fill tech gaps, power of smart cities unleashes
As cities fill tech gaps, power of smart cities unleashes
Augusto López-Claros | Keynote Session | Lessons from COVID-19 and the Future of the SDGs
Augusto López-Claros | Keynote Session | Lessons from COVID-19 and the Future of the SDGs
Activating Strategic Alliances
Activating Strategic Alliances
Better Together: Partnerships for the Planet
Better Together: Partnerships for the Planet
Inauguration: Resilient Governance is Good Governance
Inauguration: Resilient Governance is Good Governance
Smart Cities: What Are the Requirements for Smart Governance?
Smart Cities: What Are the Requirements for Smart Governance?
Proprietary or open-source software? Arguments in favor and against
Proprietary or open-source software? Arguments in favor and against
Tomorrow.Podcast 1x01: Are our cities more resilient than ever?
Tomorrow.Podcast 1x01: Are our cities more resilient than ever?
Smart AMB: can data lead us to deliver better urban services?
Smart AMB: can data lead us to deliver better urban services?
A New Space For Mayors. Bloomberg to Fund Harvard Center for Cities
A New Space For Mayors. Bloomberg to Fund Harvard Center for Cities
Barcelona Provincial Council: this is how a smart region works
Barcelona Provincial Council: this is how a smart region works
PODCAST 1x01 - Are our cities more resilient than ever?
PODCAST 1x01 - Are our cities more resilient than ever?
Barcelona’s strategy to drive the 2030 Agenda in the city
Barcelona’s strategy to drive the 2030 Agenda in the city
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole: cities become smarter by forming smart regions
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole: cities become smarter by forming smart regions
Pablo Soto, regional representative of Transparency and Participation in Madrid: “Technology should be used to enhance institutions”
Pablo Soto, regional representative of Transparency and Participation in Madrid: “Technology should be used to enhance institutions”
Metropolitan governance: extending municipal governments as a response to new urban challenges
Metropolitan governance: extending municipal governments as a response to new urban challenges
How to go from being a town to a Smart Town
How to go from being a town to a Smart Town
The G20 creates the Global Smart Cities Alliance to establish universal norms and guidelines for the implementation of technology
The G20 creates the Global Smart Cities Alliance to establish universal norms and guidelines for the implementation of technology
Citizens at the heart of smart cities
Citizens at the heart of smart cities
Paul Duan, co-founder and President of Bayes Impact: “We should trust in the power of the multitude”
Paul Duan, co-founder and President of Bayes Impact: “We should trust in the power of the multitude”
Open government and citizen participation: a journey through history - Infographic
Open government and citizen participation: a journey through history - Infographic
How and why do cities die?
How and why do cities die?
Digital natives, technological illiterates?
Digital natives, technological illiterates?
New COVID-19 outbreaks: this is what the hammer and the dance will be like
New COVID-19 outbreaks: this is what the hammer and the dance will be like
Citizens policing our streets: is it lawful to report the inappropriate use of cities?
Citizens policing our streets: is it lawful to report the inappropriate use of cities?
Smart cities that failed along the way
Smart cities that failed along the way
Can technology foster democracy?
Can technology foster democracy?
Open data: how can they improve citizen engagement and the economy?
Open data: how can they improve citizen engagement and the economy?
Cities are for people: towards a new conception of public spaces
Cities are for people: towards a new conception of public spaces
Electronic voting, a reality that has little to do with virtual reality
Electronic voting, a reality that has little to do with virtual reality
Welcome to the Smart City Live!
Welcome to the Smart City Live!
How cities are using collective intelligence to fight the coronavirus
How cities are using collective intelligence to fight the coronavirus
What makes a city attractive to talent?
What makes a city attractive to talent?
Imec: Open digital twin framework
Imec: Open digital twin framework
x-tention: Towards post covid-19 smart tourism
x-tention: Towards post covid-19 smart tourism
Arca: Wave control for better health
Arca: Wave control for better health
Smart Buildings: Enabling reliability and resilience for a better future
Smart Buildings: Enabling reliability and resilience for a better future
DMAP: Unlocking the power of transportation analytics
DMAP: Unlocking the power of transportation analytics
These were the urban utopias that preceded us - Infographic
These were the urban utopias that preceded us - Infographic
Medellin: data and infrastructures in contrast to its troubled past
Medellin: data and infrastructures in contrast to its troubled past
Can citizens design their own streets?
Can citizens design their own streets?
2030 Agenda and Urban Agenda for Catalonia: from Strategy into Practice
2030 Agenda and Urban Agenda for Catalonia: from Strategy into Practice
How smart cities are contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
How smart cities are contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
From Crisis to Opportunity: Transforming European Cities in the COVID Era
Live
From Crisis to Opportunity: Transforming European Cities in the COVID Era
Cities as Testbeds for Innovation
Cities as Testbeds for Innovation
Smart Cities Germany – an emerging market for urban technologies providers
Smart Cities Germany – an emerging market for urban technologies providers
Recommended profiles for you
Remember to activate your profile to network!
Activate profile
RA
Roseno Aji Affandi Aji
Binus university
I am a subject content coordinator, international Political of Economy
yh
yaron hakon
tel aviv municipality
Architect & information security
KN
Kisoo Nam
Strategy/ibri
Ceo/ibri
Victor Perez
Victor Perez
CivesSolutions
Implementing smart city processes, with stakeholders such as governments in Europe and the Americas
Ramon Bacardit
Ramon Bacardit
RBR architects
TS
Turgut Seren
Istanbul metropolitan municipality
Bigdata & AI leader
AF
ABDOU LAHAT FAYE
BELO HORIZONTE CITY HALL
BELO HORIZONTE CITY HALL
GG
Germán Giró
Municipalidad de Rosario
Secretary of Modernization and Proximity .
SG
Siniša Gavrilov
Omega software
Sales Manager
Albert  Ramos ribas
Albert Ramos ribas
Marketing
Relaciones públicas
TJ
Tomasz Janos
Wroclaw Academic Hub, City of Wroclaw
Managing Director of Wroclaw Academic Hub
Paolo Boscolo
Paolo Boscolo
Comune di Prato
IT Director
PS
Paulo Sousa
Volt
Advisor
EMRAH Çiftçi
EMRAH Çiftçi
None
Smart city specialist
Merja Maijala
Merja Maijala
Business Tampere
Building smart city together with companies, city representatives, research institutions & citizens
sv
sheila carmen valencia vera
oefa
practicante
CV
CINARA DE VILA
pgmambiental
Lawer
MP
Matilde Pont
Agencia EFE
Writer.
RH
Raju Halomoan
Lintasarta
BUSINESS solution manager
Serhii Karelin
Serhii Karelin
East Europe Foundation
E-democracy Component Lead

Only accessible for registered users
This content is available only for registered users
TO: $$toName$$
SUBJECT: Message from $$fromName$$