Smart cities implementing modern technologies to better serve their residents are collecting an incredible amount of data.

Unfortunately, this data is often inaccessible to the public. Allowing access could help residents make better decisions about where to live, work, and get around.

Moreover, making this data publicly available would open doors for all kinds of innovation, including:

  • Helping researchers utilize this data leading to more scientific breakthroughs.
  • Developers would be able to create apps that would be more effective and accurate with better data.
  • Businesses would be able to analyze the data to create better products and services.
  • Open data would also allow for more productive collaboration between the public and the private sectors.

For example, tension between Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) companies specializing in Micro-Mobility (e.g. e-scooters) and city officials who are responsible for urban transportation could be alleviated by data sharing.

MaaS companies could better serve the city’s needs and city officials would be able to make better policy decisions.

Finally, open data could also help to improve the experience of tourists, which would lead to more visitors. Popular destinations around the world are already taking advantage of this.

For example, a program in Paris called Welcome City Lab was created to stimulate innovation in the tourism sector and includes the world’s first start-up incubator focused solely on that industry. Many of its startups use open data.

In short, keeping data under lock and key is unnecessary and has the potential to stifle innovation that could benefit the city’s residents and visitors alike.