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Open Data for Urban Research

Master Governing the Large Metropolis

Sciences Po, urban school

Academic Year 2022/2023


Joël Gombin (Datactivist)

Many thanks to Samuel Goëta who taught this class in the past. Previously, this class was taught for 5 years with François Briatte (ESPOL, Université Catholique de Lille) and Samuel Goëta (Datactivist), in coordination with Antoine Jardin (CNRS).

Course Outline

This workshop offers a critical analysis of how urban-level data are produced, interpreted, and, increasingly, released to the public. It was designed specifically for this Masters, alongside the “Advanced Quantitative Methods” course, which enables students to build on their existing statistical training by mixing qualitative and quantitative insights.

According to the Global Open Data Barometer, more than 40 countries across the world have an ambitious open data policy. 22 countries adopted the international open data charter which sets an objective of open data by default. In France, it is mandatory since October 2018 for all public administrations to open their data. More than 4000 local authorities are covered by this law. For students, especially in urban studies, opportunities in this field are twofold: reusing open datasets has become a prerequirement in quantitative and geospatial studies and new open data project manaagers positions open regularly in public and private entities.

At the end of the class, students will:

  • learn the benefits and the principles of open data
  • know how datasets are concretely opened
  • discover how to conduct an open data project
  • understand the process and best practices to reuse open datasets.

Class 1 - Open Data 101 : the origins and principles of a growing movement


Date: October 6, 2022 (12:30 - 16:45)

Where? Room S07, 13, rue de l'Université


Class 2 - smart cities, sensors and data - hands-on activities


Date: October 21, 2022 (08:00 - 12:15)

Where? Room S08, 13 rue de l'Université

[Class 3 - hands-on activities TBD)


Where? Room S08, 13 rue de l'Université

Where? TBD






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Impact of Social Sciences Blog, London School of Economics and Political Science:

Open Knowledge Foundation:


Urban-level data-oriented studies:

Urban Audit – European City Statistics:

OECD – Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development:

UN-Habitat, United Nations:


Course “Open Data for Urban Research" - master Governing the Large Metropolis - Sciences Po, urban school






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