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Open Urban Data Platforms can support smarter cities

14 January 2021

A new report from the Erasmus University Rotterdam that studies how eighty cities are organizing data assets using state-of-the-art data platforms, highlights the possible benefits cities can reap by establishing urban data platforms.

The report which aspires to support cities in their implementation of Urban Data Platforms has been published by the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics, the flagship centre of excellence on data, AI and digitalization belonging to the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The report studies more than eighty European Cities and recommendations are given on how to develop city platforms capable of connecting city data assets and essential information via urban digital twins for city management and innovation.

The underlying study was funded by the Horizon 2020 project RUGGEDISED and supported by the European Commission’s Smart Cities Marketplace. It details the multitude of paths a city can take to build a platform capable of enabling integrated data flows via open standards within and across city systems. The developed platform will therefore ensure interoperability among platforms and data sources and create one marketplace for city data assets, in which varying types of data can be combined as a basis for new value creation.

Dr Marcel van Oosterhout, Associate Executive Director at the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytic and Expert in Urban Data Platforms, explains:

“This report can guide policymakers and business innovators in designing and building digital platforms of great benefit to their cities. A mature, resilient and trusted Urban Data Platform can support policy-making, be the basis for citizen engagement, and provide a platform for triple helix collaboration and startups to innovate based on data”.

While compiling data for the report, Erasmus University Rotterdam was supported by a wider community of Smart Cities funded by Horizon 2020, known as “Lighthouses” and by RUGGEDISED project cities Rotterdam, Glasgow and Umeå. Drawing on the extensive experience of these cities and engagement with 80+ practitioners via a questionnaire and case studies, the report is potentially the most extensive publication to date on publicly-funded urban data platforms. It can be found on the RUGGEDISED.eu website.

On January 29, 10:00-11:30 CET, the report will be presented at a webinar on Urban Data Platforms hosted by ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability and the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics. Also in attendance will be representatives from Umeå, Rotterdam, and London, who will share insights from Horizon 2020 projects, as well as representatives from Hafen University, who will represent their work in the Action Fund. You can sign up at www.ruggedised.eu/webinar.