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Project Smart City Services (wip)


Berlin's basic service providers keep the city running and make the people's everyday possible.

They also want to (and need to) be transparent about what they do. One of the ways to achieve that is by opening up data sets to the public. With that the people can have and insight in the workings and the outcomes of the providers' work.

Here we see an important divide.

The providers try to open up data but (being big and mostly conservative company infrastructures, with the focus clearly on being reliable before innovative (which is a good thing in our own interest))) are either not sure how to 'properly' open it (), what to open or they or run into the conflict of fine grained data vs the individuals privacy.

The people (the smart citizens that we are) want to know more about their city. How much energy does my neighborhood consume? How did the quality of tap water change in the last 5 years? Is it just me or are buses always late? Couldn't that bus line run more frequently? These are all valid questions that could be answered by the basic service providers.

But usually the data sets (released or not) themselves are not as helpful to people). There is need for a third actor which is the tech community, taking raw data and looking into it, answering the questions that the people have.


We thought of a platform prototype that sits in this communicative niche.

Offer an index that can be searched or explored by topic (eg 'something with trash collection', 'something about environment') and that shows both available data sets as well as data projects.

You're not finding the data/answer you're looking for? Post it on a public pin board. Pin boards are searchable so people can find out if others have also looked for this particular piece of information.

Pins can be liked or upvoted so demonstrate public interest and importance.

Public service providers can comment on the pins. They can clarify if they opened up the data (with a link to the data or (even better) the new entry in the data/project index) or say why they cannot open up the data. At least we now have information on that! They can then archive the pin, it stays searchable for future reference.

Ideally this opens up conversation between citizens and providers and shows what people want or are interested in and gives very direct feedback which questions the data could or should answer.