Brussels, Belgium - Citadel on the Move, a 4M Euro EU-funded Smart City project, today welcome more than 70 local government representatives as they descended upon Brussels for the 12th Annual Open Days event: the flagship policy event for local government across Europe that brings together more than 5,000 leaders in regional policy. During the workshop Citadel on the Move showcased a range of new open source tools which aim to make it easier for all governments, especially the small ones that often get left behind, to open data and unlock smart city innovation.
‘’Amidst all the hype of Open Data, it is often overlooked that for many cities - even relatively larger ones like Athens - opening data is easier said than done,” said Ira Giannakoudaki, Projects Coordinator of DAEM, the Smart City arm of Athens. “In the current era of austerity, it is hard to find budget to train staff to open data in a usable format, much less to stimulate innovation. Yet there are more and more pressures on cities like ours to do so. Citadel on the Move provides the answer to this dilemma.”
Citadel on the Move provides a free, easy-to-use set of tools that allow a city official to quickly publish in an open, reusable format and create simple, easy-to-use apps which visualise the results. The whole process – from opening the dataset to creating the app -can be completed in less than 1 hour, and is so easy to do that last year two eight year olds one an international award for their new Citadel Apps.
“[Citadel] has already helped the City of Ghent to improve innovation,’’ said Bart Rosseau, Head of e-Strategy at the City of Ghent. “A councilman wanted an official app for a major festival in the city. Using Citadel, we convinced him to spend a fraction of the budget opening the data to the public and asked developers to build new apps. The results were much better than we could have produced just paying a developer. Citadel proves Ghent can save money on more projects just like this one.”
Citadel on the Move is currently working with more than 75 cities in all 6 continents to help them open and use data. “You don’t need a big budget or an experienced team to begin reaping the benefits of Open Data,” noted Andrew Stott former head of Digital Engagement for the UK Government and a Citadel adviser. ‘’Thanks to freely available open source tools that Citadel on the Move provides, all you need is a willingness to start the open data journey.’’