The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLVIII-4/W5-2022
17 Oct 2022
 | 17 Oct 2022


T. Osu and D. Navarra

Keywords: Smart city, Data Governance, Big Data, Open Data, Data Privacy, Sustainability, Urbanization

Abstract. The world is experiencing an unprecedented rate of urbanisation, with 70% of its population expected to live in urban cities by 2050 (United Nations, 2018). This is driving demand for smart city development projects, that address city related issues such as traffic congestion, inadequate housing, excessive crime rates, strains on utilities like energy and water, amongst others. The volume and analysis of data associated with these activities, call for a mechanism for managing data in smart cities.

This paper is aimed at developing a data governance framework for managing data generated by smart cities, and improving the way they operate as well as the quality of life of their citizens. The paper will highlight the characteristics of smart cities, the importance for cities to become smart, how the smartness of cities can be measured, and which cities around the world are considered smart. It will also discuss why data is important for the success of smart cities, the types and sources of data typically present in smart city settings and the data management challenges that plague smart cities globally.

A sequential mixed methods research approach incorporating qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods was employed, following a multi-step approach starting with analysis of existing frameworks and interviews with subject matter experts. This was followed by a survey of industry professionals, for insights on key framework components, and the use of case studies and questionnaires for framework evaluation.

Throughout the research process, the focus of smart cities on people rather than technology was prominent. As such, the most important theme of the framework was identified as “People”, particularly in their roles as data stewards and data owners. The remaining five themes of the recommended data governance framework are, Process, Technology, Data, Protection and Valuable Insights.