Re-situating open data in Lisbon in the hype of start-up urbanism

Authors: Mário Vale*, Universidade de Lisboa, IGOT, Luis Carvalho, University of Porto & Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Topics: Economic Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: open data, start-up, web-summit, Lisboa
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Studio 5, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The PlanIT Valley utopia placed Portugal on the global map during the first wave of externally driven, smart urbanism from scratch. Nowadays, smart city initiatives are becoming more endogenous, centred on notions of innovation, competitiveness, transparency, participation and service improvement. This chapter presents the case of Lisbon´s open data initiative as an example of such a turn. The first attempts to open city data in Lisbon date from 2011, driven by the city´s transparency and participation agenda. Yet, open data only gained momentum in 2016, as it became linked to the development of a new generation, openness-concerned urban operation´s centre, as well as with the city´s economic agenda on entrepreneurship and start-up promotion ( This re-situating of open data within the city came with heightened levels of financial and political support, new network formation and constituency. One example is the creation of a specific incubation and acceleration programme called Smart Open Lisboa, targeting the prototyping of solutions for the city´s problems by using of open data. Yet, at this stage, the pressure to deliver and showcase solutions also meant prioritizing established start-ups and data-driven innovation broadly speaking, paradoxically leading civic participation and data openness purposes to the background of the initiative.

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