Data Stewardship Canvas: A Smart City Example

The Problem

Increased urbanisation means cities around the world face challenges associated with a growing population. They need to enable mobility, provide adequate infrastructure, maintain liveable environments and support health and wellbeing.


The Solution

Technology has the potential to help address many of these issues, leading to the concept of ‘smart cities’. Recognising the potential of smart cities, the UN launched an initiative called United 4 Smart Sustainable Cities which aims to benchmark a city’s progress towards becoming a smart city (Jersey is a signatory).

So what is a smart city? IBM talks of cities ‘being empowered technologically, as the core systems on which they are based become instrumented and interconnected, enabling new levels of intelligence’. One practical example is smart traffic lights where sensors around roadworks can provide up to the minute data about traffic flows, which can then be used by the smart traffic lights to optimise light changes for a smooth flow of traffic.

Mature smart cities will enable authorities to make their cities run more effectively and efficiently. To do this, myriad interconnected technology systems will need to share data and citizens will need to be comfortable sharing their own data in order to access superior local services. This presents a major data sharing challenge. Authorities will need to facilitate safe and effective data sharing between numerous public and private sector bodies, and citizens will need to make their data safely available to trusted partners providing local products and services. There will need to be legal frameworks, technology sharing platforms, and assurances that data is being handled securely, ethically, in line with privacy regulations and local sensitivities, and without compromising confidentiality for commercial organisations. It is evident that these are not core activities for city authorities and this presents a major opportunity for third parties to offer data stewardship services.


Key Benefits

  • Increased adoption of smart city technologies
  • More efficient and liveable cities
  • Cost savings for public administrations
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