Ben was in Brussels this week to participate in a workshop at the 12th Annual Open Days event. Open Days, Organized by the European Committee of the Regions, is the leading regional policy event in Europe and brings together more than 5,000 leaders in regional policy to discuss the latest developments for helping cities and regions. The Citadel workshop, entitled ‘Open Data for Innovation: Technical Torture or a Case of ’App-y Ever After?’ brought together 4 speakers from European projects with a capacity crowd of more than 70 participants for an informative, interactive session on the latest developments in the domain of Open Data for local and regional policy.
Participants were treated to a full overview of the project by Open Data expert and Citadel advisor Andrew Stott who, alongside participants from sister projects CitySDK, CreativeMED and eCreate, fired a lively debate among participants in the room. Debate centred on the best way to encourage more cities of open their data and to begin unlocking the hidden value of this data to enrich the lives of everyone in their local areas. The city of Amsterdam was among those cities who echoed the need to overcome the paradigm of ‘data ownership’ by civil servants. Only by realising that data belongs to the citizen and that by opening up data you not only offer the opportunities for innovative new service but also improve the perception of transparency with the populous can cities begin harnessing the immense potential of Open Data.
The session was hailed as a great success and treated participants to a unique look at the pioneering developments of the Citadel project. Attendees were impressed with the capability of the Citadel tools to kick-start the Open Data process. One noted that Citadel’s ability to quickly and simply visualise data provides a unique incentive for local authorities to open more data by showcasing the potential impact on citizen’s lives. With significant interest from participants in joining the rapidly growing Citadel Collective, the event was further proof of Citadel’s tremendous potential to help cities on their Open Data journey.