A City that thinks like the web – Shaping Network Society

A City that thinks like the web

Mark Surman, the executive director of the Mozilla foundation gave a talk in Toronto last November titled “a city that thinks like the web.” His argument was that opennes and participation made the web better and can make cities better (just imagine how you can improve city services, if you have a million beta-testers). David Eaves points us to a motion that will be discussed at the Vancouver City Council on May 19th, about making Vancouver an open city:

[…]THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the City of Vancouver endorses the principles of:

  • Open and Accessible Data – the City of Vancouver will freely share with citizens, businesses and other jurisdictions the greatest amount of data possible while respecting privacy and security concerns;
  • Open Standards – the City of Vancouver will move as quickly as possible to adopt prevailing open standards for data, documents, maps, and other formats of media;
  • Open Source Software – the City of Vancouver, when replacing existing software or considering new applications, will place open source software on an equal footing with commercial systems during procurement cycles; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT in pursuit of open data the City of Vancouver will:

  • Identify immediate opportunities to distribute more of its data;
  • Index, publish and syndicate its data to the internet using prevailing open standards, interfaces and formats;
  • Develop appropriate agreements to share its data with the Integrated Cadastral Information Society (ICIS) and encourage the ICIS to in turn share its data with the public at large
  • Develop a plan to digitize and freely distribute suitable archival data to the public;
  • Ensure that data supplied to the City by third parties (developers, contractors, consultants) are unlicensed, in a prevailing open standard format, and not copyrighted except if otherwise prevented by legal considerations;
  • License any software applications developed by the City of Vancouver such that they may be used by other municipalities, businesses, and the public without restriction.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT the City Manager be tasked with developing an action plan for implementation of the above.

It is interesting to see how in 2009, organizations of all types are asking radical questions about process and governance. What will our world look like in 2010? [thanks to Ines Mergel for twittering about the motion. Do RSS her blog]

About Philipp

Philipp Müller works in the IT industry and is academic dean of the SMBS. Author of "Machiavelli.net". Proud father of three amazing children. The views expressed in this blog are his own.

16. May 2009 by Philipp
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