Press release

Top city recommendations on citizen data

19 November 2019

Citizens should always be in control of their data, while politicians should be able to use data for the public good – to ensure this, EUROCITIES today presented a publication at the Smart City Expo World Congress outlining 10 principles on citizen data with real world examples from cities.

Speaking at the launch, Michael Donaldson, chief technology officer, city of Barcelona and vice-chair of the EUROCITIES Knowledge Society Forum, said: “People should have the same sense of security online as they do offline. This includes their ability to use, manage and access data. Our open data challenge, launched with the motto, ‘the future reusers are now in school’ saw us working with students (14-16 years old) to develop apps offering policy makers valuable insights, while teaching students about the importance of data in designing city life.”

Accessing citizen data and using connected devices allows city governments to monitor things like traffic flow, noise pollution or carbon emissions.

Mathias De Clerq, mayor of Ghent, said: “As we develop new technologies and generate new datasets on public life, we want to ensure the digital transformation is accessible to and works for all people. In Ghent our ‘data processing registry’ gives public authorities an updated and accurate overview of the data produced in the city while the open version allows residents to interact with and query the administration on the use of their personal data.”

These principles on citizen data were initiated by the cities of Barcelona, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Ghent, Zaragoza and cities as diverse as Debrecen in Hungary and Bordeaux in France have contributed to the publication to share examples that can help inspire not only other cities, but also European and national policy makers.



Notes to Editors 

  1. You can access the publication, ‘Data, people, cities: EUROCITIES citizen data principles in action’, here: EUROCITIES_citizen_data_principles_final
  2. The 10 principle cities contributing to the publication are: Barcelona, Bordeaux, Debrecen, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Florence, Helsinki, Manchester, Rijeka, Zaragoza
    EUROCITIES is the political platform for major European cities. We network the local governments of over 140 of Europe’s largest cities and more than 40 partner cities that between them govern some 130 million citizens across 39 countries.
  3. The Smart City Expo World Congress, takes place in Barcelona from 19-21 November.
  4. EUROCITIES Knowledge Society Forum supports cities to ensure that all citizens can have access to ICTs and participate in the information and knowledge society and helps public administrations to make the most of the rapid development of new technologies


Media contact:  

Alex Godson: +32 495 298 594 //


Alex Godson Eurocities Writer