'UrbanData2Decide' Project started!

6. Oct. 2014

Kick-off meeting in Vienna

There has never been such a big amount and detail of data, including open data, open government data and social media data as we find today. This presents unprecedented challenges and opportunities to tackle societal challenges. In our rapidly urbanizing world, the ‘UrbanData2Decide’ project focuses upon current challenges in European cities.

First steps in identifying what these challenges are and what current status of decision-making processes and data usage in different cities looks like have been made last week. All project partners as well as city officials from Manchester (UK) and Copenhagen (Denmark) gathered in Vienna for the 2-Day ‘UrbanData2Decide’ Kick-Off meeting.

Interesting questions have been raised, in terms of what kind of open data does a government even provide? National differences between European partners quickly became clear when detailed open crime and police data on a neighborhood level for the UK was discussed:

The different national and local situations and approaches in regard to availability of open government data in European cities points towards important questions:  How does a city deal with and share its data with citizens? Further, the sharing of data and its use in decision-making processes raises critical concerns in regards to ethical, legal and social aspects of data use. All these questions and concerns are best discussed with specific cases at hand – two of which have been presented during the Kick-Off meeting.

In Malmö (Sweden) intentional fires increasingly set over the past few years have put issues of urban safety to the fore. The department of Urban Studies at Malmö University has been closely working together with the city`s fire department and local police to find solutions and support preventive measures. Including, provision of neighborhood maps of past fire incidents and giving advice on using twitter feeds to find out about current fires faster.

The focus of ‘UrbanData2Decide’ is not only on the usage of official data in decision-making processes but also includes social media data (e.g. Twitter, Facebook). Interestingly in the city of Manchester (UK) a twitter account has been put in place for every district in the city.

A second case concerns integrated urban renewal projects in Copenhagen (Denmark). These clearly put to the fore that decision making processes involve different decision-makers as well as different kind of data at different stages of the process.

The 'UrbanData2Decide' project is part of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI Urban Europe) and has a duration of 26 months. Project partners are: Synyo GmbH (coordinator), Open Data Institute/London, Department of Internet Studies/Oxford University, IT University Copenhagen/Denmark and Department Of Urban Studies at Malmö University/Sweden

More information on UrbanData2Decide: and

Interested in the topic? Please contact Christian Voigt or Susanne Dobner.

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