Thursday, May 14, 2015
Kitchener, Ontario

On May 8, 2015, the world’s first open, online platform for globally standardized, verified and comparable city data launched at the opening of the National League of Cities (NLC) event, “Big Ideas for Cities” in California. Designed and built by Focus21 Inc., a Communitech start-up, the platform enables cities to compare themselves on over 100 civic measures from environmental sustainability to economic resilience.

In the spring of 2014, the World Council on City Data (WCCD) enlisted Focus21 Inc. to build the WCCD Open Data Portal with a vision to share and open benchmarked city data to the world. “Given their unique data sharing challenge, we felt we could partner with WCCD to design and develop a truly amazing solution”, says Dr. Jeff Aramini CEO of Focus21 Inc. The WCCD Open City Data Portal enables cities to compare and benchmark their performance across 100 indicators on the ISO 37120 standard. The portal can be used by anyone with an interest in how their city performs internationally, from students to civic leaders.

WCCD Executive Vice President Helen Ng had this to say about the WCCD Open Data Portal “The technology solution that Focus21 developed for us will be critical in establishing ourselves as a global leader in collecting, visualizing and presenting city data from around the world. The product they delivered was even more innovative than we had originally anticipated.”

Open Data is a vital element for civic innovation, a perspective shared not only in the U.S. but mirrored here in Ontario with events like “Go Open Data” held May 1-2 at Brock University. “It’s our hope that Canadian municipalities move further towards opening their data for increased civic engagement”, says Dr. Aramini.

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