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Through their experimentations, UIA digital projects are reflecting on how cities could collect, monitor, exchange and take advantage of data and how it could create new solutions to concretely impact citizen's relationship with public services, local economic development etc. More specifically, in this article you will read about how Rennes Métropole, the city of Heerlen and Ravenna are building on data to foster local development and improve citizens digital skills and culture.

Cities are increasingly involved in the digital transition. As key actors of of public services and urban planning, they are dealing with massive amounts of valuable data, yet often underused. UIA cities implementing and testing digital solutions are very much aware of the opportunity that digitalisation and data represent for public services improvement, local businesses development and citizen's engagement and digital culture. Through their experimentations, UIA digital projects are reflecting on how cities could collect, monitor, exchange and take advantage of data and how it could create new solutions to concretely impact citizen's relationship with public services, local economic development etc. More specifically, in this article you will read about how Rennes Métropole, the city of Heerlen and Ravenna are building on data to foster local development and improve citizens digital skills and culture. 

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In his first Zoom-in, Simon Chignard, RUDI's project expert, gives concrete examples of how open data, once collected and processed through the RUDI platform could create new opportunities for local economic projects to flourish. It brings together data users and producers and sheds light on challenges and very concrete solutions that could ease the daily life of citizens. A map to visualise the accessibility of the city for the disabled, an app to collect crowdsourced data on Rennes' shops opening hours, processed data to identify opportunities for photovoltaic development across the Métropole… These are part of the concrete solutions that are being tested through the RUDI project. Read more about the projects the Métropole has selected to reuse data shared in the framework of RUDI.

Collecting data is also key to Ravenna's project, as the set-up of the digital platform, DARE, will inform the urban regeneration process of the former city docks. Listen to Levente Polyak's first podcast narrating urban transformation in Ravenna and how DARE project citizens' centric approach also aims at developing citizens' digital culture and skills.

The WESH project is another concrete example of how cities can use digitalisation and data to improve citizen's digital culture and foster economic development. The "Heerlens Heitje" app is now available in all districts of Heerlen, enabling citizens to take part to the public spaces maintenance and being rewarded with a digital and local coin for their work. In this documentary video, city leaders, app creators, and users explain their journey with "Heerlens Heitje", how it fosters civic participation, helps maintaining public spaces and stimulates local businesses with the local currency.

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Concrete benefits and opportunities of data and digitalisation were also core topics of the session held at the EU Regions Week 2021. Led by Ravenna, this session brought together decision-makers, professionals, and citizens to reflect on the future use of data for European cities. Watch the recording and find more about the challenges and opportunities of data collection and sharing. 

To get to know more about other UIA digital projects, have a look at the topic page.

About this resource

Author
UIA Permanent Secretariat
About UIA
Urban Innovative Actions
Programme/Initiative
2014-2020

The Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) is a European Union initiative that provided funding to urban areas across Europe to test new and unproven solutions to urban challenges. The initiative had a total ERDF budget of €372 million for 2014-2020.

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