Science Trends: “Located at the complex intersection of economic development and environmental change, cities play a central role in our efforts to move towards sustainability. Reducing air and water pollution, improving energy efficiency while securing energy supply, and minimizing vulnerabilities to disruptions and disturbances are interconnected and pose a formidable challenge, with their dynamic interactions changing in highly complex and unpredictable manners….
The Beijing City Lab demonstrates the usefulness of open urban data in mapping urbanization with a fine spatiotemporal scale and reflecting social and environmental dimensions of urbanization through visualization at multiple scales.
The basic principle of open data will generate significant opportunities for promoting inter-disciplinary and inter-organizational research, producing new data sets through the integration of different sources, avoiding duplication of research, facilitating the verification of previous results, and encouraging citizen scientists and crowdsourcing approaches. Open data also is expected to help governments promote transparency, citizen participation, and access to information in policy-making processes.
Despite a significant potential, however, there still remain numerous challenges in facilitating innovation for urban sustainability through open data. The scope and amount of data collected and shared are still limited, and the quality control, error monitoring, and cleaning of open data is also indispensable in securing the reliability of the analysis. Also, the organizational and legal frameworks of data sharing platforms are often not well-defined or established, and it is critical to address the interoperability between various data standards, balance between open and proprietary data, and normative and legal issues such as the data ownership, personal privacy, confidentiality, law enforcement, and the maintenance of public safety and national security….
These findings are described in the article entitled Facilitating data-intensive approaches to innovation for sustainability: opportunities and challenges in building smart cities, published in the journal Sustainability Science. This work was led by Masaru Yarime from the City University of Hong Kong….(More)”.