A Data-driven Approach to Assess the Potential of Smart Cities: The Case of Open Data for Brussels Capital Region

Paper by Miguel Angel Gomez Zotano and Hugues Bersini in Energy Procedia: “The success of smart city projects is intrinsically related to the existence of large volumes of data that could be processed to achieve their objectives. For this purpose, the plethora of data stored by public administrations becomes an incredibly rich source of insight and information due to its volume and diversity. However, it was only with the Open Government Movement when governments have been concerned with the need to open their data to citizens and businesses. Thus, with the emergence of open data portals, these myriad of data enables the development of new business models. The achievement of the benefits sought by making this data available triggers new challenges to cope with the diversity of sources involved. The business potential could be jeopardized by the scarcity of relevant data in the different blocks and domains that makes a city and by the lack of a common approach to data publication, in terms of format, content, etc.

This paper introduces a holistic approach that relies on the Smart City Ontology as the cornerstone to standardise and structure data. This approach, which is proposed to be an analytical tool to assess the potential of data in a given smart city, analyses three main aspects: availability of data, the criteria that data should fulfil to be considered eligible and the model used to structure and organise data. The approach has been applied to the case of Brussels Capital Region, which first results are presented and discussed in this paper. The main conclusion that has been obtained is that, besides its commitment with open data and smart cities, Brussels is not mature enough to fully exploit the real intelligence that smart cities could provide. This maturity would be achieved in the following years with the implementation of the new Brussels’ Smart City Strategy…(More)”.