October 22, 2020

Future Cities Canada: Data Governance Lab

Evergreen and MaRS

Supporting communities to refine and test data governance frameworks.

The use of data is at the heart of building a smart city and increasingly more and more devices are capturing data and responding to burgeoning digital needs. In cities this means that we have an exponential number of data points that can help us understand our urban challenges and improve city operations.

With this digital shift comes the challenge of managing the volume of the collected data and thinking through the notions of data ownership, data protection and the resulting implications on citizens’ privacy. It has become more important than ever for cities and communities to understand how, what and why data is being collected to ensure public trust. One such way is to develop data governance frameworks to help cities address how data is being stewarded and for what purpose.

Data governance frameworks aim to manage the availability, usability, integrity, and security of data and data assets. They are not just about managing data but also address other questions such as: Who is responsible for collected data? Who is entitled to set rules for access and use of it? How are rules set? Who will benefit from the data and on what terms? How can the data be leveraged?

Using an experimental process at the Future Cities Canada Data Governance Lab, we worked with cities to explore, ideate and identify data governance frameworks to find scalable solutions and address concerns regarding data collection and management.

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