Turning data into public value: European lessons on unleashing the transformative power of city data

Paper by Anushri Gupta and Luca Mora: “The age of big data and smart city technologies provides city governments with unprecedented potential for data-driven decision making. Committed to constantly developing new urban policy and supporting urban operations, city governments have been using data describing the functioning of urban infrastructure assets and public services for a very long time. However, the widespread diffusion of digital systems has now created a remarkable new window of opportunity.

With many digital solutions being introduced into the built environment to improve the sustainability of urban sociotechnical systems, enormous amounts of data are constantly generated at the city level, and at unprecedented speed. City surveillance cameras, government applications for public services, building automation systems, intelligent transport systems, and smart grids are some examples of digital technologies which are contributing to producing an exhaustive stream of data “that can be harnessed to provide urban intelligence and reshape the practices and processes of public administrations”, creating a fertile environment for innovation and entrepreneurial activity. When attempting to tap into these large streams of city data, however, the opportunity to deliver sustainable value is met with significant sociotechnical challenges, which undermine the capability of urban development actors….(More)”.