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Empowering citizens to make meaningful use of open data

Open4Citizens is a collaborative experiment that aims to find better ways of using open data to design new services for citizens. Through campaigns, hackathons and related activities, project partners aim to make citizens, interest groups and diverse stakeholders more curious about data. Through participation and engagement, they increase awareness about the opportunities offered by open data and a new culture for innovation within public services.

The technological development of the last decades have made it possible to accumulate a large amount of data covering almost every aspect of our public or private lives.

Not many of us know that large parts of these datasets are publicly available as open data. Ideally, all interested citizens should be able to draw on this resource to generate innovative applications with a potential to change the way we live, move, and use the city and the territory around us.

Open4Citizens aims to test campaigns and inclusive hackathon processes to bridge the gap between the opportunities offered by the abundance of open data and the citizens’ capability to imagine new ways of using such data.

Open4Citizens is a project implemented by a consortium consisting of seven partners that work together across five pilot locations to experiment with participatory and design-oriented methods. Throughout the project, citizens, interest groups and diverse stakeholders are invited to join co-design processes (hackathons), together with IT experts, public administrations, students and start-up companies, in order to work intensely together to develop new services that improve urban quality and certain aspects of their everyday life.

The aim of the project is to raise citizens’ awareness about the opportunity offered by open data and through suggesting methods, processes and approaches that may support a new culture of innovation in public services.

Open4Citizens believes in participatory campaigns which nurture temporary ecosystems allowing for new actors, citizens, companies and public authorities to interact in an inclusive and open dialogue about needs, demands, interests, possibilities, use cases and technical formats fit for various concrete purposes on open data availability.

In each of the five pilot locations (Copenhagen, Karlstad, Rotterdam, Milan and Barcelona) the project implements either physical or virtual spaces (OpenDataLabs) that may become the reference point for all citizens and interest groups who might want to propose innovative applications based on open data. The vision is that the outputs and insights of the project can grow into a foundation for a Network of Open Data Labs across Europe – beyond the limited time-span of the actual project funds.

We’re keen to promote the continual experimentation and development of the tools and processes developed – and we’re happy to invite other curious labs and organisations to join us; visit our website to learn more.

Case study date: April 2018.




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