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Governing Urban Data for the Public Interest

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Blueprint out now!

Over the past two years, The New Hanse, a collaboration between The New Institute and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, has been exploring the realm of business-to-government-to-society (B2G2S) urban data sharing. 

Now, we are excited to announce the release of our final project report, titled "Governing Urban Data for the Public Interest." This report represents the culmination of our efforts and offers actionable guidelines for European cities seeking to harness the power of data for the public good.

The key recommendations outlined in the report are:

1. Shift the Paradigm towards Democratic Control of Data: Advocate for a policy that defaults to making urban data accessible, requiring private data holders to share in the public interest.

2. Provide Legal Clarity in a Dynamic Environment: Address legal uncertainties by balancing privacy and confidentiality needs with the public interest in data accessibility, working collaboratively with relevant authorities at national and EU level.

3. Build a Data Commons Repository of Use cases: Streamline data sharing efforts by establishing a standardised use case repository with common technical frameworks, procedures, and contracts.

4. Set up an Urban Data Intermediary for the Public Interest: Institutionalise data sharing, by building urban data intermediaries to address complexities, following principles of public purpose, transparency, and accountability.

5. Learning from the Hamburg Experiment and Scale it across Europe: Embrace experimentation as a vital step, even if outcomes are uncertain, to adapt processes for future innovations. Experiments at the local level can inform policy and scale nationally and across Europe.

Embracing these recommendations will empower cities to leverage the power of digital technology and data to make our cities greener and better serve the needs of citizens. 

We invite you to read the full report for comprehensive insights into the legal, technical, and regulatory dimensions of data governance in the public interest, along with specific practical recommendations to make it happen in Hamburg and across Europe and beyond.

Download the original blueprint in English here

Download the German Executive Summary here