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Making Cities Open by Default: Lessons from Open Data Pioneers

Explore the opportunities and challenges faced by cities improving their open data programs.

City governments play a vital role in building communities where people can live, work, and play, as well as fostering resilient and sustainable development. There is a growing movement to give people access to the data and information that they need to hold city leaders to account for the decisions they make and the services they deliver. This report explores the opportunities and challenges faced by cities improving their open data programs.

The open data community has its roots at the city level and there is an emerging understanding that cities need to connect with one another, as well as different levels of government, to meet the complex challenges that confront them. Of the 52 governments that have adopted the Open Data Charter, 35 are local or subnational. The high level of adoption at the local level indicates the important role the Open Data Charter network can play in connecting local governments around the world. This network brings together governments, civil society and experts committed to open data based on a shared set of global principles. 

For this report, the Charter and OpenNorth have investigated the opportunities and challenges faced by cities improving their open data programme, and specifically the role that the Charter can play in supporting this process. We spoke to government officials, politicians and civil society from four cities (Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg) and one province (Ontario) in Canada, as well as three international cities (Lviv - Ukraine, Buenos Aires - Argentina and Durham - US).
 

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