Data Governance & Integration for Smart Cities

This theme paper introduces the key issues for Smart city data governance and related infrastructures.

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Data Governance & Integration for Smart Cities

Data is at the heart of a Smart city and is increasingly important for managing city operations and driving urban development.

Through the Internet of Things (IoT) more and more devices produce data and respond to digital commands. In cities this means that we have an exponentially increasing amount of data that could help us better understand our urban challenges and improve city services.

Key issues for
SmartImpact partners

Urban data can now be gathered from a wide range of organisations and places. It can be static or real-time, public, private or commercial. The foremost challenge faced by cities is how to synthesise and make useful the data coming from many differing formats and categories.

Urban data governance is the process of decision making on data related issues that impact questions of common good, business value and civil society. It is a value and policy driven matter.


Lessons learnt from
SmartImpact partners

In order to maximise the interoperability between data and services, data platforms and similar solutions need to use open, non-proprietary application programming interfaces (APIs) and data formats.

Who owns the data collected by Smart cities is both an ethical and political question because ownership entails control. Cities should use their position when issuing public contracts to fully leverage control of urban data. Written into contracts, they can outline the city’s right to own and use data that stems from their public space.  To be democratic and stimulate innovation the infrastructure must be open and provide access to data at a significantly detailed level. The foundations of a successful Smart city are based on effective partnerships. In order for this new governance to thrive, partnerships between the private and public sector need to mature.

A Smart society charter -
seven data principles

Seven principles were developed in cooperation with a range of partners working with the city of Eindhoven.

The intention is Smart city agents can adopt, extend and reflect on these principles when building new or improving existing IoT and data infrastructures, platforms, services and applications.


1. Privacy first

2. Open data and interfaces

3. Embrace open standards

4. Share where possible

5. Support modularity

6. Maintain security

7. Accept social responsibility


More Information

Smart Society Charter

Data Governance & Integration for Smart Cities Case Studies