The Horizon 2020 project PolicyCloud uses big data to inform better policymaking. Its municipality of Sofia pilot use case is currently building on the European Digital and Data strategies by using big data and analytical tools to improve the quality of planning decisions around urban transport and road infrastructure, waste collection and disposal, ecology, and green systems.
The European Digital strategy aims to see a digital transformation that works for all and presents a European society powered by digital solutions that put people first, opens up new opportunities for businesses, and boosts the development of trustworthy technology to foster an open and democratic society and a vibrant and sustainable economy. Digital is a key enabler to fighting climate change and achieving the green transition.
‘A European Strategy For Data’ presents some of the first steps towards achieving these goals. It aims at creating a single market for data, ensuring that more data becomes available for use in the economy and society. One focus of the strategy aims to use data to enable better policymaking, recognising the “considerable contribution to improving policymaking and public services”. PolicyCloud through its pilot case with the Sofia Municipality is putting this strategy into practise as it aims to use the increase in data to improve evidence-based policymaking in an urban setting. As of yet, there is no established process to incorporate data into policymaking and so the project aims to create the digital tools and services necessary to meet the challenges a cities faces.
Digitalisation and data play an increasing role in supporting transport sustainability. The EU is currently working on facilitating data-sharing/re-use to improve transport systems, a central feature of smart cities. Transport is just one of the areas of focus that Sofia aims to improve through PolicyClouds services offering the advantage to interpret, manage and analyse big amounts of data both from existing data sources (citizens’ Contact Centre) and from new data sources (open data sets that will become available).
These powerful tools provided by the PolicyCloud project will allow the Sofia Municipality to carry out a detailed analysis of the territorial distribution of the information from the citizens contact centre by type, area, district, etc. The results of the analysis will allow the municipal and district administrations to identify the problems in the urban environment and to adopt or modify adequate policy-making decisions on budget planning and effective use of budget and public resources.
PolicyCloud big data streaming and real-time big data platform will enable improvement in operational efficiency, transparency, and decision making. The visualisation technologies will enable policy makers to identify issues, trends, and policy effects and interactions. The analytics technologies will enable users to discover insights and find meaningful explanations about the effects of policies
Through smart policymaking, Europe can seize the opportunities associated with the digital paradigm shift and become a leader in data.
Related EU policies:
Digital Cities Challange (In showcasing its digital credentials the municipality of Sofia took part)