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Principles letter

Letter of Principles of the Open Data Policy of the Lisbon City Council

Whether to build urban intelligence that ensures efficiency in the use of resources in more sustainable and inclusive cities, or to boost entrepreneurship and start-ups of technological nature in the creation of innovative products and services for new markets, there is an unavoidable challenge that we must win! This challenge is the Open Data – data that any person or entity can access, use and share.

Today the cities and their inhabitants are discovering the power of open data - data and information provided by the central and local administration, as well as by other public and private sources, which can help solve problems of the cities in which we live and create new business opportunities.

Through the opening of data relating to the environment, transport, education, health and so on, the municipalities can objectively support companies, start-ups, developers of applications, organizations of civil society, among others, to find new and innovative ways to deal with urban problems.

Furthermore, this way we get a triple benefit: improve governance of the city; promote a more active and participatory citizenship; and support economic development.

A municipality’s strategy of open data supports four key goals:

A. Involvement: increasing the involvement of citizens in the development of the city and services it provides, in participatory debate and decision-making, requires citizens’ understanding of the context in which the municipality operates. Providing citizens and their communities with access to some of the operational data of the municipality and, particularly, spatially relevant data (of one’s "neighbourhood") can contribute to encouraging a more active and informed participation.

B. Transparency: allowing citizens to understand, examine and question the action and decisions taken by the municipality requires information. The more open data to be made public, the more we encourage participation and improve the services we provide.

C. Economic development: the release of data is considered a trigger for the promotion of economic and community activity. Cities around the world have discovered that the massive availability of open data allows local businesses and developers to create new applications, new products and services and Lisbon wants to build the smart city of the future right now.

D. Improving services and efficiency gains: providing open data will support and accelerate the sharing of data of the municipality and other entities with the expected results in terms of improving service and efficiency gains.

Bearing in mind the above-mentioned challenge and objectives with regard to open data of the City of Lisbon, the Lisbon City Council is committed to the following principles:

1. Annually define the policy on public release of open data, indicating which data to be released throughout the year and in what formats;

2. All the organic areas of the Lisbon City Council producing relevant data will contribute to the provision of sets of open data;

3. The Lisbon City Council will actively encourage the Parish Councils of the City of Lisbon to provide sets of open data concerning their competencies and areas of expertise;

4.  The Lisbon City Council will actively encourage Municipal Agencies and Companies of the City of Lisbon to provide sets of open data concerning their competencies and areas of expertise;

5. The Lisbon City Council will actively develop contacts to establish a network of partnerships with entities outside the Municipality, for the dissemination of sets of open data from these entities, pertaining to the City of Lisbon;

6. The Lisbon City Council will maintain and publish online all inventories of its data collection and data collections of all entities involved in the open data of the City of Lisbon and their metadata, using a common scheme;

7. The Lisbon City Council will actively encourages the reuse of open data, through a series of outreach initiatives, encouraging the development of applications and public participation;
8. Data sets released will be available in a single point of access online, easy to find and use, which will match the Open Data Site of the City of Lisbon;

9. Data released will be available without the need of any application or registration and without requiring information about the user;

10. Data will be released with an open license that allows its free reuse, including commercial reuse;

11. Data released will be updated and be of a fine granularity that makes it readable by machines;

12. All data sets released shall comply with the rules of privacy and security legally established.