Monthly Archives: April 2012

How To Create An Open Access City

Here in Philadelphia, we have been able to build a fantastic relationship between the public, private, university and community sectors around open governance, open data and transparency.

Just this week, Mayor Michael Nutter announced an Open Data Executive Order which, among other things, created a Chief Data Officer here in the City.  It is a fantastic accomplishment and the sum total of innovative work from a long list of people.

As a Philadelphia resident and a grateful participant in a lot of the open access, open source, open data, open government activities here, I do believe we have a model that other cities can adopt.

I outline it below, but quickly on the pure open data side, OpenDataPhilly is already an open source service that other cities in the US and abroad have adopted as a good method to advance an open data catalog and supporting APIs.

On the broader Open Acces side, I list below the 3 items that a City can employ to create an environment where the public, private, university and community sectors work together to build an open access city and sustainable new model of governance & citizen service. While each city has its own personality and the individual tactics would need to reflect it, I do believe there are 3 key elements that comprise a framework that is both sustainable and transportable for other cities:

  • Integrate the values of an open access city, how they relate to each other and the mission they represent, into the strategic plans for the City
    • Free flow of information
    • Civic innovation & participation (leveraging technology)
    • Digital Inclusion
    • InfoTech business growth
  • Publicly and regularly identify, promote, connect and support those groups and people that:
    • Have projects, initiatives and organizations that focus on at least one of those values
    • Ensure those projects are driven by stakeholders across multiple City sectors – public, private, university, community
  • City selects a subset of all the initiatives from #2 to bring into the Administration for internal use

Have a great weekend.