Smart City & Open Data - what interplay is there?

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Session #4 room C.04 @ Opendata.ch/2019
Participants: ca. 18-20

Adapted from the original protocol in German of “Smart City & Open Data - welche Wechselwirkung gibt es?” by Beat Estermann.


An example from Barcelona was shared, linking Smart City and Open Data. Mobility / Transportation Data has a key contribution to Smart City issues (traffic forecasts, congestion forecasts), but not planning to make the data public in short term due to privacy concerns.

How do the Open Data strategies of public transport companies interact and how can they interact with Smart City? There are already considerations in the industry today, but hardly any concrete initiatives that affect the entire sector.

Challenges regarding data quality: Many calculations are based on assumptions and not on secure data. Open data, e.g. from traffic censuses, would be helpful. Often there are only isolated figures availabled from public administrations. On the other hand, the private sector (e.g. TomTom) have partly better data, which, however, is treated as proprietary. It is difficult for smaller players to gain a foothold.

“OGD by default” culture at engineering and administration companies would mean that all Smart City projects would also deliver open data. That would be very positive for the community. Also avoiding vendor lock-in. OGD is already a prerequisite for Smart City.

Is it possible to force companies to give up their data? E.g. Publibike in Zurich (here one could contractually regulate data opening); discuss arguments against opening: the competitive situation in regards to other companies. Of interest to the city: Origin-Destination-Data, such as the SNF (France) where OGD is built in by design.

Kt. Bern works on spatial planning, no direct reference to Smart City. St. Gallen does not speak of Smart City, but of “Smart Regions” (as in larger cities); the topic is also relevant for commuters. At the City of Biel, GIS software and technology is provided to communities. Of interest to find out what data can be used in conjunction with each other.

Postbus: what is the contribution of the public sector to the Smart-City theme? What do different people think of it? How would you see the relationship between open data and Smart City? What can the contribution of open data be? At the end of the day, Smart City is always about the common good. “Open” is also in the interest of the common good.

A matter of personal concern: residents of a medium-sized city. Attractive housing estates disappear, new ones emerge. - I would like to get an idea of what urban planning is up to (data & tools are necessary). I.e. involvement of the population, participation. With what added value? Neighbourhood association, social mixing, change of neighbourhood. Those affected can form their own opinion and contribute constructively to urban development. Goal: a sustainable city, worth living in. Today, there is often “building on” and “building on” the city.

Proposal to study to what extent open data is used in a Data Science context. Possibly involve neighbourhood associations as mediators. Participation sometimes works with a minimum of information. The role of the media: we usually act “by proxy”. The “Open Data movement” can also have an intermediary role. Much “evangelism” is necessary to get public administrations to publish important data as OGDs. Reverse the burden of proof (open by default); otherwise you are constantly running against the bureaucracy. The OD principle should also be enforced in procurement (contractual regulations); this is often not yet the case today.

The first working group of the Opendata.ch association was on the topic of mobility. Today the event is hosted by SBB, only 6-7 years ago we were still the “rebels”. Recall the 2013 OKCon international “Urban Data Challenge”. Current project: Architecture R&D, use of environmental and mobility data, platform SmartUse.ch in development, with the goal of being an open data resource for architects, planners, realistically not all data being all at once open. Building a team to implement necessary technical standards with the Open Data community, to make participative applications a reality (data must be a bidirectional road). #urbandata

Which concrete data / applications would be relevant?

  • Traffic, mobility
  • Environmental pollution, health aspects of transport, the use of transport, etc.
  • Influence of apps on the use of roads (cf. previously hardly used roads)
  • Georeferenced Official Gazette Communications

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

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