Urenio Watch Watch: Intelligent Cities / Smart Cities

New Book_Open Cities | Open Data: Collaborative Cities in the Information Era

‘‹The book “Open Cities|Open Data: Collaborative Cities in the Information Era” consists of a collection of papers that synthesise two emerging topics: smart cities and open data. While the academic, policy and market discussions about ‘˜Smart Cities’ have been underway for over a decade, the chapters and research in this collection reflect a more recent re-framing of the discussion around the ‘˜data-driven and responsive city’ .

The chapters of this book address three types of data: crowd sourced data, data compiled by businesses into online databases, and data released in an open format by government agencies. The challenges of applying open data in an urban context are identified, while the authors provide a variety of tools, examples and case studies, envisaging solutions for the use of complex, large datasets.

Open Cities Open Data addresses and   links the transformational processes of urbanisation and digitalisation.  Digital technologies and platforms have created an exciting potential for improved city management and governance and, thus, urban outcomes. This book presents an unconventional and innovative perspective on collaborative urban economies, while it links open data with social aspirations such as urban inclusion and participation.

According to Tim Williams, Cities Leader for Arup in Australasia and Chair of Open Cities, the  translation of Big Data into Open Data is universally applicable and the articles in the Open Cities Open Data collection provide insights of international relevance.  Academics, researchers and policy experts are essential in promoting an understanding of best practice in urban performance and transformation.

Book Summary

Today the world’ s largest economies and corporations trade in data and its products to generate value in new disruptive markets. Within these markets vast streams of data are often inaccessible or untapped and controlled by powerful monopolies. Counter to this exclusive use of data is a promising world-wide “open-data’ movement, promoting freely accessible information to share, reuse and redistribute. The provision and application of open data has enormous potential to transform exclusive, technocratic “smart cities’ into inclusive and responsive “open-cities’.

This book argues that those who contribute urban data should benefit from its production. Like the city itself, the information landscape is a public asset produced through collective effort, attention, and resources. People produce data through their engagement with the city, creating digital footprints through social medial, mobility applications, and city sensors. By opening up data there is potential to generate greater value by supporting unforeseen collaborations, spontaneous urban innovations and solutions, and improved decision-making insights. Yet achieving more open cities is made challenging by conflicting desires for urban anonymity, sociability, privacy and transparency. This book engages with these issues through a variety of critical perspectives, and presents strategies, tools and case studies that enable this transformation.

Chapters and Information

The chapters of this book are divided in 3 parts. Part 1, includes papers on the topics of Urban Inclusion and Social Entrepreneurship. Part 2 discusses Knowledge Ecosystems and Resilience. Finally, part 3 is focused on Civic Innovation and Transparency. The articles under all 3 parts contain distinctive global case studies and practices with a focus on diverse areas and needs emerging in the urban environment, like homelessness, racial segregation, urbanisation etc.

Each chapter in this book went through a double to triple blind  peer review process. The book was financially supported by the Faculty of the UNSW Built  Environment, Sydney and was inspired by the 2015 Open Cities Open  Data workshop,  convened by the UNSW Built  Environment’ s Smart Cities Research Cluster.

The Smart Cities Research  Cluster is a research network that supports collaboration and research on  Smart Cities and seeks to promote and advance the design, planning  and delivery of urban environments and services through the use of  information and communication technologies with a focus on spatial  technologies.

You can find the book here