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Data Governance in the Sustainable Smart City

  • Date Updated: November 2017

Framing data governance in the new smart city agenda with a focus on sustainability.

The wisdom of ‘smart’ development increasingly shapes urban sustainability in Europe and beyond. Yet, the ‘smart city’ paradigm has been critiqued for favouring technological solutions and business interests over social inclusion and urban innovation. It is unclear how smart city initiatives are developing common visions according to the principles of sustainable urban development. This paper examines how data governance in particular is framed in the new smart city agenda that is focused on sustainability.

In order for smart city initiatives to lead sustainable urban development they require engagement from stakeholders to collaboratively identify, collect, generate, and use data. Sustainability shapes a more collaborative approach to data governance in the smart city that addresses broader calls to make smart data governance more responsive and collaborative. 

If each smart city comprises local initiatives occurring in multi-level governance settings, the data governance is best operationalised at the level of each initiative to ensure that all necessary data can be identified and provided in a meaningful format and timely fashion. 

Finally, it is important to note that data development relies upon the mandates of all stakeholders, but the government plays a key role in sharing data more broadly. Decision-making processes and stakeholder relationships that can shape the design and development of future smart and sustainable city initiatives depends on effective sharing of data.
 

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