Smart Cities

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Smart city digital stewardship is a hot topic. While some argue that the way forward is a civic data trust, I’m not entirely convinced. I offer some thoughts on Possible purposes for a smart city public digital stewardship.

More Smart City posts

Interesting reading

  • Privacy and Smart Cities: A Canadian Survey, Sara Bannerman and Angela Orasch (January 2019): This study of the concerns of Canadians relating to smart city initiatives is very timely. The study involved an online survey conducted from October 23 to November 1, 2018. The study coincides with the ongoing debate over Sidewalk Labs’ (a Google affiliate) interventions in Toronto city-building. The study was funded in part by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Digital / Data Trusts, Hubs & other models

  • A Primer on Civic Digital Trusts, MaRS (February 2019): MaRS has has put together a primer on the concept of civic digital/data trusts with the Toronto Quayside project in mind. Full disclosure: I participated in the primer’s development.
  • Biblio Tech: Beyond Quayside: A City-Building Proposal for the Toronto Public Library to Establish a Civic Data Hub (January 2019): The Toronto Board of Trade recommends that data governance for the Quayside project be transferred to a third-party organization that has three characteristics: (1) expertise in handling and managing data; (2) authority to uphold privacy laws and resolve disputes; and (3) community crediti8blity and trustworthiness to defend legitimate interests. Its answer? The Toronto Public Library. The Toronto Board of Trade notes that the TPL already falls within provincial privacy legislation and has accountability to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario as well as City Council. The idea isn’t entirely out of left field. There is something natural about public libraries taking on the role of data hubs. City Lab jumped into the conversation with Should Libraries Be the Keepers of Their Cities’ Public Data (February 11, 2019).
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