The report 'Governing Urban Data for the Public Interestfrom The New Hanse Project emphasizes the need for European cities to adopt policies that prioritize urban data accessibility and advocate for private companies to share data for public benefit.

Key points:

  • Default  data availability: cities should implement policies to make urban data accessible by default.

  • Legislative influence: cities should leverage their legislative and bargaining power to compel private companies to share data in the public interest.

  • Data for sustainable initiatives: access to data on electricity and heat consumption, mobility, water management, and pollution is crucial for initiatives like clean transport, renewable energy, efficient buildings, and the circular economy.

  • Citizen-centric smart cities: the vision of a smart city should revolve around citizens and addressing urban challenges, prioritizing areas like sustainable mobility, climate action, ecological transition, education, and health.

  • Democratic data control: data is a vital infrastructure in cities and should be considered a public good. Balancing access to collectively produced information with citizens' right to privacy is essential for informed decision-making.

  • Legal mechanisms for data sharing: cities can require private data-holders to share data through licenses, procurement contracts, and as a condition of public funding.

  • Overcoming legal challenges: address legal challenges by seeking clarity and working with national and EU authorities to navigate privacy and confidentiality concerns.

  • Standardised use case repository: establish a common repository with technical frameworks, procedures, and contracts to streamline data-sharing.

  • Urban data intermediaries: create entities dedicated to data-sharing, ranging from contractual arrangements to fully-fledged organizations, to address complexities.

  • Embrace experimentation: encourage local-level experiments to inform policy-making and scale innovations nationally and across Europe.

Source of information: https://cities-today.com/cities-should-mandate-access-to-private-sector-data-for-public-good-report-says/ (Published 01 November 2023)