City governance, in most countries, is very influenced in its organization and methods, by traditional working modes of public entities.
The animation of the urban community, residents and economic actors, relies on principles based on expectations rather mechanistic and on a simple and direct causality. I take a measure which I expect, therefore, quick and direct effect. Among these principles, subsidies, grants and incentives are important.
This mode of operation, push-type, applied on such systems that are the cities of today, shows its limits. The numerous interactions between system elements are events disturbing the direct link between cause and effect: the expected results are not always present or they are, but accompanied by undesirable consequences.
For example, subsidies for energy efficiency works or to install renewable energy sources, immediately create a hope of rapid growth and easy profit, lead to the creation of new companies, hunting subsidies, not competent, whose installations will not reach the expected performance and will destroy the initiatives legitimacy.
Some cities have started to change their approach, to adopt a way of pull-type incentive: the implementation of a given scheme is supposed to foster the creativity of actors by uses and valuations of this scheme, not originally planned.
The establishment by a city of an open data platform, concerning all data relating to this city, accessible freely, answers this logic.
As a public and neutral actor, the city is legitimate to ensure the security of access to data, to protect the people, businesses and facilities regarding the malicious use of these data, to ensure fairness among data users.
Data is no longer an asset to control; everyone’s attention can focus on the value to be created from this data without being disturbed by worries of acquisition, ownership and right.
In the most successful cases, the data are freely available, and are a direct incentive to create value services and to the emergence of innovative activities. This creative space offered by the data is far more efficient to stimulate innovation and adoption, compared to all traditional subsidies and competition mechanisms leading to activities often disconnected from the market and artificially maintained.
City data should not be an issue for anyone: a Smart City is really a city that has managed to focus the energy of all stakeholders on the value. For this, think seriously about an opendata that is truly open!