Urenio Watch Watch: Collaborative Innovation

Open Governance in the Smart City

Open Governance in the Smart City was developed in the framework of the EU funded Horizon 2020 research project smarticipate. Through eleven cases ‘“ 9 European and 2 non-European cities – the report provides an overview of the variety of approaches local governments and communities can take to ICT enabled open governance. In addition to describing the different approaches, the report also discusses risks and challenges, concluding with a number of recommendations.

Changes in society and political culture in the last decades have led to demands for increasingly open governance, also in cities. Societies have become more diverse in terms of culture and religion; biographies are more mobile and people less attached to places; a new understanding of the relation between individuals and society has emerged. These trends go hand in hand with more horizontally organized societies and demands for more participation in public decision making. Innovations in ICT add to the complexity cities are facing, but also offer solutions for increasing the capacity of civil society and nonstate actors to organize, make demands and offer solutions.

This report identifies four approaches to ICT enabled open governance at the local level. These are:

  1. Data and information
  2. Crowdsourcing
  3. Co-creation
  4. Collective decision making

By analysing the case cities and these four approaches, the report suggests eight recommendations. These do not constitute a check list, but can rather be used as guidelines when applying ICT to governance in a local context. In short, the recommendations are:

  • Look for real problems to solve
  • Go where your users are
  • Set aside sufficient resources
  • Prepare to change
  • Keep your processes open and accessible
  • Be transparent about your own role
  • Build in future innovation

You can read the full report here.