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Living Labs Global Award 2012 – Two Open Knowledge Foundation Projects Nominated

- March 8, 2012 in Cities, Events

Two projects of the Open Knowledge Foundation have been nominated for the Living Labs Global Award 2012: – Participatory budgeting through augmented reality and CityData – Making Cities Smarter – A central entry point to all your city’s data. Out of nearly 700 submitted showcases, about 15% have been selected to submit an extended version of the showcase. The Winning Showcases will be presented during the Rio Summit on Service Innovation in Rio de Janeiro on 2-3 May, 2012.

The Living Labs Global Award cooperated with cities in Africa, Asia, South and North America and Europe in order to present challenges related to health, mobility, education urban management and sustainable development, affecting more than 125 million people. Winners of the Living Labs Global Award are invited to implement their showcase as a pilot project, providing valuable inputs in product development and public sector procurement.

“Companies, non-governmental organisations and research centres have invested in technologies that change our cities”. The Living Labs Global Award 2012 provides an opportunity to innovators to present their solutions, receive professional and detailed evaluation, and is a distinguished recognition of their efforts in providing sustainable and innovative solutions for cities. is nominated in the category Participation in Service Design and Delivery in Sant Cugat del Valles, Spain.

An increasing number of cities invite their citizens to help allocate municipal funds through participatory budgeting. Yet these debates often remain abstract: should more funds be given to schools or hospitals? Should the city pay down debt by selling property or by reducing social benefits? aims to make budgeting debates happen where their effects will take place: out in the streets. The project will geo-code local government expenditure, and present funding information as location-based virtual overlays on mobile devices. Both the city government and normal citizens will be able to either propose new projects or rate and comment on those of others.

With a growing set of other Augmented Reality (AR) layers becoming accessible, more and more information will be available to facilitate hyperlocal decision-making. The project could be further expanded to include regular group tours through the city in which digital layers and real-life debate combine into a data-based moving agora.

CityData – Making Cities Smarter is nominated in the category Free Spatial Data for Information & Services in Kristiansand, Norway.

Where do citizens and developers go for information in your city? Perhaps for public transport timetables they have to visit the websites of the local bus and tram companies, for information about bin collections a local council site, for crime data the local police website … and so on.

CityData is a platform that brings geo-coded information from local councils, departments and agencies together in one place. Different agencies can upload links to their data from existing systems either using an intuitive web front end or via a powerful API, into grouped spaces on the platform where they can retain their distinctive branding. It provides facilities for agencies to upload and review data before it goes live. It uses non-proprietary, open-source software, tried and tested on large existing projects such as, a data platform for the Greater Manchester area.

Data can be linked on external sites, or held as structured data on the CityData server, in which case a suite of visualisations and maps are available to users as well as an API to query the data. By making data from many different local sources discoverable and searchable, CityData encourages local app developers to build services using multiple data streams – for example, combining geospatial transport and house price data to make suggestions to a user who needs to find a place to live.

Living Labs Award Contact at OKFN: velichka.dimitrova [at]

City DataParty

- February 3, 2012 in Cities, Data Party, Events

If you have fun working with data or would like to learn how to do some data-crunching, please come to our virtual DataParty on City Data on Wednesday, February 8 @ 5pm GMT / 6pm CET / 12pm EST. To join the DataParty, please enter your skype ID in the DataParty Etherpad. If you are in London, you can also come to the #C4CC at 16 Acton Street, WC1X 9NG. We will gather disaggregated data on city and regional level for cities around the world and add them to the Datahub.

Are you interested in what drives cities? Regional and city data can much more interesting than national averages, as it reflects the spatial agglomerations of economic and social activities. Analysing regional level data could deliver insights about the unequal economic development – whether patterns of development are due to geographical devisions or institutional factors.

What do you value personally in a city? Maybe the employment opportunities, the low crime rates, the environmental quality and good weather or the concentration of cultural and academic activities… Do you want to live in a densely- or sparsely-populated city, one with many schools and few car accidents? Probably you consider some of those factors really important and others not decisive at all. And you would be right to put a different weight on the various factors which constitute a city. Probably you would also like to know what your perfect city would be like. The next Open Economics project will build an application to determine the Best City in the World to submit to the BuzzData & EIU – Data Mash-Up & Visualization Contest: “Where is the best city in the world to live?”.

Spatial economists and econometricians, as well as interested data journalists and citizens are also welcome to join – building a dataset, based on comparable NUTS3 statistics of Eurostat for European countries, we can analyse the relationships between the labour market, education, health and spending. You are welcome to share and practice data analysis techniques and initiate follow-up activities.