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A guide to becoming an open city

A guide to becoming an open c…

Published on: 21/07/2015 News Archived

Promoting the use of collaborative platforms to encourage citizen participation, opening data on the Web and encouraging the re-use of open data in mobile applications are among the 10 ideas for an open City Council, listed in a report from the Regional Observatory of the Information Society of Castile and Leon (ORSI).

These ideas aim to “inspire policy makers in municipalities to build a more open, more participatory, more collaborative and more transparent City Council” which is based on citizen participation and local collaboration between administrations and users, the document explains. It shows that Open Government principles can be applied at local level, closer to the citizen, citing real examples of successful projects.

One of the recommendations listed in the report is about the implementation of a social Web or new online technologies to allow people to comment and share news on the city and interact with the City Council.  The use of social media can also promote engagement between the City and its citizens, to share points of view or collect opinion on public services, for example.

Another recommendation deals with the implementation of collaborative platforms, which could leverage citizen collaboration, create discussions, promote public debate and finally help build local policies.

Open Data, collaboration and cultural change

The report shows Open Data as a way to increase transparency or to give new business opportunities. It details how to open data, which data can be published, and lastly, how to promote the re-use of open data by third parties. It also recommends increasing the transparency of municipal management and making a city’s accountability accessible to citizens.

Lastly, other ideas listed in the report are about helping and encouraging internal collaboration in administrations and between administrations. “Open City must encourage and reward participation initiatives from internal workers”, the document states.

However, the report explains that applying Open Government principles “should be preceded by cultural change” within a city, involving the city’s leaders and its employees. Changing the management of a city to make Open Government possible is presented as a solution.