Open Data in Smart Cities

More and more European Union Member States are recognising the value that Open Data bring, and they are acting upon it accordingly. These portals are supported by solid policies. For the success of this initiatives, the whole society should be taken into account. The government has an important role to play here. Many European cities publish a large amount of data on the following topics: urban planning, tourism, transportation and mobility area. Moreover the real-time data is becoming increasingly more available for citizens, such as availability of parking spots. In addition, cities benefit from Open Data to overcome urban problems such as pollution, traffic congestions, improved quality of services like water quality control and leakage detection.

The strategy is not a standalone initiative; it incorporates smart city’s strategy. It is a crucial driver for adoption. A smart cities concept allows the deployment of smart devices, such as sensors on traffic lights, to measure traffic density, enabling us to get more useful data and improve the quality of life in metropolises and large cities. This approach needs a management system in place to operate with the data.
open data

(Analytical Report 6, 2017)

Also this approach can find a wide application in tackling crime and improving urban planning. This concept can drive cities on their journey towards the transformation into smart cities. An increasing number of cities rely on ICT and data to address the challenges of urban cities. The first step is to make it available for all stakeholders. Implementation of standards eventually will contribute toward improving the quality of data.

open data

(Analytical Report 6, 2017)

For smart cities, the most important aim is to drive efficiency through connected networks and infrastructure to increase transparency by allowing open access to the city’s data and statistics.

Barriers encountered by the cities in implementation

The majority of EU countries have successfully implemented a very basic approach. But these countries are struggling with a number of barriers in order to fully integrate this approach into everyday life, which means that the economic benefits remain an issue for them. There are a range of challenges that cities are facing:

open data

(Analytical Report 6, 2017)

One of the biggest challenges cities face is lack of awareness of the benefits. Society and communities may find it difficult to release their data. Data holders need to trust and be convinced that by revealing the data, they will add some value to the society and that they will be able to improve the quality of their lives.

Success Stories

The most successful stories  usually related to the transportation and logistics sectors offering real-time transportation data to drivers. For example, in Dublin it allows people to see the nearest available parking spot or a bicycle hire throughout the city are located. In Vilnius and Helsinki, this approach allows city officials to check when streets have been cleaned after a snowfall and to identify the routes on the online maps where it is possible to walk or drive. Using a collaborative approach to the utilisation of Open Data ultimately adds to the quality of life enjoyed in cities.

open data

(Analytical Report 6, 2017)

Examples

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