The environment around urban decision makers grows ever more complex. They are faced with issues such as exceptional challenges or innovative opportunities. Nowadays there is sea of information available for nearly every issue. It may happen that probably important sources remain untapped. UrbanData2Decide shall support local governments towards a sustainable, well-founded and holistic decision-making process. For this purpose the project aims to extract and process information from two rich sources. These are public social media and open data catalogues. They will be combined with advices from expert panels. In this way the views and perspectives of all relevant stakeholders are taken into account.
Cities, decision maker, institutions and residents are more and more connected. For example, plenty accounts at Twitter are dealing with urbanisation. The content is growing rapidly has not yet been fully exploited to understand views and perspectives. It is therefore the ambition of this project to profit from all the relevant data by developing new methods to combine expert knowledge and existing big data pools into one optimal framework.
The UrbanDataVisualiser aggregates, structures and visualises the data of social media content and open data sets. On the other hand the UrbanDecisionMaker complement this bottom-up approach with advisors and external experts. They use tools such as the Delphi method and so-called scientific multi-round expert integration methods. The Delphi method is an interactive forecasting method which relies on a panel of experts.
But of course, a decision-making process is not only influenced by available information sources. There are other main factors like institutional embeddedness, administrative structure, funding, spatial scale, duration of the project and the stakeholders itself. Urban decision-making is sensitive to political and institutional trajectories of local governments. Approaches are not directly compatible to other cities. Funding may influence, inter alia, the time planning of a project or forms of citizen participation. The decision-making process can be affected in different ways depending on the numbers and type of stakeholders.
The project started in September 2014 and has a total duration of 26 months until October 2016. It is co-funded under the Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe. The consortium members comprise the SYNYO GmbH (Austria), the University of Oxford, the Malmö University (Sweden), the Open Data Institute (UK), the IT University of Copenhagen (Denmark), the Centre for Social Innovation (Austria) as well as city partners of the Major Cities of Europe Network. The SYNYO GmbH coordinates the EU project.