NextGen - through its global activities and events - enables and facilitates better understanding of the environmental, social and economic components of sustainable development.
Citadel is designed to help every city - regardless of size and budget - to open and use data quickly and easily. The Citadel network includes over 125 cities, towns and countries spanning 6 continents. Part funded by the European Union’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme.
21c is a specialist ICT innovation firm with an unparalleled track record helping cities to Open Data, Work Smarter and deliver results. They regularly advise the United Nations, the European Commission, and international actors around the world about the technological advances that are transforming the world we live in. The company is spearheaded by Dr Julia Glidden.
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Citadel Fosters Open Data Culture at Manchester City Council
Manchester was one of the first UK cities to embrace Open Data principles. For a number of years the Manchester’s digital development agency, MDDA, (an agency of the City Council) has been working closely with other members of the digital community, such as Madlab, FutureEverything and Open Data Manchester, to stimulate the development of Open Data culture in the city. However, despite widespread cooperation, the overall understanding of Open Data and its benefits within the City Council remained low. Only a small number of datasets was available on the Council’s website and the formats in which they were published made it difficult for developers in the city to reuse them. There was clearly a need for an intervention to change this culture at the Council level.
Involvement in Citadel
Through the Citadel on the Move project, the city of Manchester was able to secure the support of the Council’s leadership and make Open Data an integral feature of the city’s digital strategy. Using Citadel tools and interactive Apps4Dummies workshops, Manchester was able to engage not only senior decision makers but also ordinary citizens with little IT knowledge and skills. Since Manchester became part of the project, 29 datasets and 70 apps were created for the city, all published on the Citadel website.
As a result of the lessons learned Citadel project, Manchester Council overhauled their Open Data catalogue to make it more user-friendly and publish in the formats that developers like best. The number of apps using open data substantially increased and the Council is now exploring different options for expanding Open Data infrastructure through such tools APIs and data stores. The city is also trying to find the best way to feed real time environmental data, as well as data from transport and energy systems, into an emerging city data platform architecture. Adrian Slatcher, Digital Development Officer at Manchester Council, said “Citadel has been an incredibly valuable way for Manchester to link our Open data programme more closely to the needs and activities of our innovation community.”
Digital Development Officer Level 2 at Manchester City Council
Issy Becomes Open Data City Thanks to Citadel Experience
Issy-les-Moulineaux is a small city on the outskirts of Paris with a reputation as one of the early French leaders in the Smart City space. Despite a strong reputation for technology, Issy’s experience with Open Data was very limited. Few datasets were available to the public and were difficult to find, hidden on a page of the city website away from public view. Staff lacked the capacity and knowledge to make smart choices about opening their data, leaving efforts stuck in the starting block. The senior management, under the leadership of visionary mayor Andre Santini, knew that action was needed to bring Open Data to Issy but did not have the wherewithal to act.
Involvement in Citadel
Through the Citadel on the Move project, Issy-les Moulineaux was able to build their internal capacity to open data. Through focussed, practical guides like our Business Requirements for Open Data, Issy learned about how to choose the right formats and standards to release high-quality Open Data. With such guidance as a starting point, Issy, with the support of Citadel, organized their own interactive workshop using our ‘App4Dummies’ model to rapidly upskill staff and give them the ability to find, open and use data in less than 4 hours. Issy was supported throughout their Open Data journey by Citadel’s suite of tools that transform any dataset into a simple smartphone app in a matter of minutes.
As a result of the Citadel project, Issy has been recognised as a national Open Data champion, while the knowledge gained from Citadel also gave Issy the confidence to put in place a forward-looking Open Data strategy. Together with French-based provider OpenDataSoft, Issy has now built a state-of-the-art Open Data portal where residents can find more than 75 datasets, all in easy-to-use Citadel formats, including a novel new financial transparency app (Rapport financier 2014/Financial report 2014) which can be used by other local government entities around the world. Using Citadel tools, Issy has also created 83 apps for local people on subjects as diverse as tourism, transport and tree locations. The city has already convinced several other French regions, including Grand Paris Ouest and Rhone-Alps, to follow their lead in opening data using Citadel guidelines. The city now plans to take their Open Data strategy even further, releasing real time transport data to spark. Speaking about Citadel’s impact, spokesman Matteo Satta said “Issy has always had a reputation as a Smart City. Now thanks to Citadel, we are developing a reputation as an Open Data city too.”
E.U. Project Manager at ISSY MEDIA