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Open data isn't good enough! You need open planning too

Submitted by jesse_berst on March 5, 2014

For the last few years, we've been hearing about the benefits of open data -- of ensuring government transparency by publicly releasing a city's data sets.

We also badly need transparency in our smart city planning , so cities can learn from each other. Happily, the European Commission is leading the way with its European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities.

Just look at the positive quotes from the Commissions in the memo below. It illustrates the depth of the EC's commitment to smart cities as the only thing that makes sense. If you are within the European territory, I hope you and your city are availing yourselves of this important sharing and learning platform.

Brussels, 28 February 2014

Get Smart: Commission brings “open planning” movement to Europe to speed spread of smart cities

The European Commission is calling on those involved in creating smart cities to publish their efforts in order to help build an open planning movement from the ground up.

The challenge is being issued to city administrations, small and large companies and other organisations to go public with their ICT, energy and mobility plans, so that all parties can learn from each other and grow the smart city market. Through collaboration as well as traditional competition, the Europe will get smarter, more competitive and more sustainable.

The Commission is looking for both new commitments to “get smart” and for interested parties to share their current and past successes. Sharing these ideas will feed the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (see IP/13/1159 and MEMO/13/1049) and networks such as the Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform, the Green Digital Charter, the Covenant of Mayors, and CIVITAS.

What’s in it for me?

If you are working in the smart cities field, joining the open planning movement will help you find the right partners, get better access to finance and make it easier to learn from your peers. You will help grow the marketplace you work in, and create export opportunities outside of Europe.

If you live in a city, you will benefit sooner from better traffic flows, greener buildings, and cheaper or more convenient services.

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said, "For those of us living in cities, – we need to make sure they are smart cities. Nothing else makes sense. And nothing else is such a worldwide economic opportunity - so we need to get sharing!".

Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said: "Cities and Communities can only get smart if mayors and governors are committed to apply innovative industrial solutions".

In June 2014 the Commission will then seek to analyse, group and promote the best plans and initiatives.


With four out of every five Europeans living in a town or city, and Europe being the most densely populated continent on Earth, the only way to deal with the social, economic and environmental impacts of our modern lifestyles is for cities get smart.

Efforts to create smart cities come in the form of integrated projects and policies that improve mobility and optimise transport, that improve energy efficiency and make energy supply more sustainable, and that make smart use of ICT solutions to this end.