Open Government initiatives should be an integral part of Smart Sustainable Cities. They ensure access to government data, stimulate citizen participation, and facilitate innovation. This is one of the recommendations made in the 'Smart Sustainable Cities — Reconnaissance Study' published last month by the Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance at United Nations University (UNU-EGOV).
One of the six policy recommendations reads:
Smart Sustainable Cities should include open government initiatives to ensure access to government data, to increase participation and to leverage innovation through public service co-creation. They should also rely on open, centralized and collaborative approaches to public and non-public service delivery.
Some examples of innovation mechanisms mentioned in the report are hackathons for developing mobile apps based on open government data, crowdsourcing of ideas, public sector innovation awards, and awards for citizens' contributions.
The authors of the report specifically mention Open Data when they discuss the difficulty of
integrating urban systems into one 'system of systems' capable of self-adaptation and self-management:
There are constraints on system interoperability and reuse of data, and heterogeneous sources of quantitative and qualitative data provided by open government, citizen science and other projects and low capacity for connecting data to analytical models. Smart Cities raise serious concerns related to citizens' privacy, government surveillance and other digital rights.