It was satisfying to hear Jadoul highlight the significance of open data. Data is considered open when it is published in a machine readable form, accessible and legally able to be re-used. In my view, open data is the currency of innovation; indicating preparedness for change. I think that all levels of government, national, state and local government can and should publish open data. The other role for government pointed out by Jadoul is in defining clear policies and regulatory frameworks around the accessibility and utilisation of data, for example protecting privacy.
Image: Marc Jadoul, Customer and Market Insight, Alcatel-Lucent presenting at Melbourne University
The third step in the plan focusses on delivery of public services. Jadoul said the emphasis here was on delivery of government services that matter to the public and businesses. They may relate to traffic, pollution, lighting, waste management. I contend that government should encourage the business community to deliver these services and be open to solutions that may break the mould of existing service delivery models.
The final plank in Jadoul’s plan is to stimulate start-ups and businesses to create new citizen applications. Government should foster and cultivate a culture of innovation through the promotion of open data and web services. There is an opportunity here for government to use public private partnerships to collaborate with the commercial community to create and deliver new services.
Someone in the audience asked whether the focus on Smart Cities was really just an attempt to dehumanise government services by making them robotic, for example to just deliver services through customer self-services. On the contrary, Jadoul said that citizen engagement was key to the success of Smart Cities. That projects should be participatory, inclusive and social. A measure of success is the level of engagement of the public and business communities in smart city activities. Smart cities are about people. Jadoul said a truly smart city is capable of reinventing itself. So what makes a city smart is people.
Author: Graeme Martin, Consulting Manager, Spatial Vision
Marc Jadoul’s presentation An Internet of Things Blueprint for Smarter Cities was delivered at Melbourne University for the Melbourne Networked Society Institute.