Urenio Watch Watch: Intelligent Cities / Smart Cities

Paper_The impacts of open data initiatives on smart cities: A framework for evaluation and monitoring

The purpose of this study is to address the gap that exists in literature on the impact evaluation of open data initiatives on the context of smart cities. The authors aim at evaluating open data initiatives’ impacts to understand further the conception and improvement of open data policies to tackle smart cities’ sustainable development. They propose a theoretical framework.

The paper starts with a systematic literature review methodology towards mapping issues and characteristics concerning the evaluation and monitoring of the impacts of open data initiatives on smart city context. Secondly, the authors proposed from the literature review a theoretical framework, consisting of a conceptual model and an experiment grounded on the use of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT), which intends to understand the effectiveness of open data policies and to gain insight into the conditions and factors concerning its impacts on smart cities.

According to the authors, the growing volume and variety of data produced in the urban ecosystem are crucial for obtaining the city’s insights and building knowledge-based solutions for a smarter and more sustainable urban development. This paper, explores the open data impacts on these complex ecosystems and its crucial enabler role for the generation and analysis of contextual and actionable data aimed at understanding, managing, and planning the city.

By providing a systematic literature review on this topic, the authors found that:

  • no evidence exists of an effective and robust framework for the impact evaluation of open data on the urban context,
  • there is a misalignment in corresponding the supply with the demand for open data to keep up with the citizen’s expectations, and
  • the quality of urban open data provided is not deep enough, and there is a need to enhance it for its effective use.

The ODISC framework comprehends a model and an experimental method that underpins the  knowledge on the topic and may lead to a more comprehensive operationalisation of the evaluation and monitoring of open data initiatives in a smart city context. The findings suggest that the impacts of open data initiatives can be evaluated, monitored, and improved. The main advantages of the framework are that it clarifies the discussion about the impact evaluation of urban open data and provides guidance for future research based on a solid theoretical foundation.

Section 1 consists of an Introduction. Section 2 introduces and explores issues and characteristics concerning smart cities and open data. A proposal for a theoretical framework is presented in Section 3, consisting of a conceptual model and an RCT as an experimental form of impact evaluation, detailing all the steps, remarks, and options taken to address the research gap. Section 4 discusses the main contributions and the implications for both research and practice. The final section presents the conclusions and the proposals for future work.

This work will contribute to open data management and smart city development, providing boundaries and theoretical insights for further research and experimentation on how open data can be leveraged to develop better smart cities.

You can find the paper here.