Using data to create sustainable cities
In 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities. To get an idea of this: soon, with over 7 billion people, we will be living on less than 1% of the earth’s surface. Sort of like New Delhi is now. This is a development that even the most experienced planner needs some time to process. City governments around the world will need to make smart use of data. It could play a key role in making cities accessible, clean and safe.
You can already see it: due to the large concentration of people, devices, vehicles and real estate, cities are gold mines for data scientists. For instance, the Dutch government collects and shares data about the urban air quality and safety. Commercial parties also collect data in the city. Think of the Googles, Ubers and Facebooks of this world.
Better data: open data can serve as a basis for local innovation. But government data is often ‘incomplete, obsolete or of low quality and fragmented’, and private companies often do not provide valuable information themselves. That is why we think that anonymised urban data that is collected in the public domain should be open and free and managed by an independent entity – which is not owned by anyone – which can expand the access to information so that a greater general purpose can be served.