1. Edmonton, AB
Ranking: 1st | Score: 98.40%
The City of Edmonton’s fifth consecutive first-place ranking can largely be attributed to their engagement with external organizations on open data initiatives. Tied with the City of Ottawa for the first-place ranking in the Impact category, Edmonton’s open data program collaborates with multiple partners that enables their open data to have the largest impact possible. For example, Edmonton was one of the few organizations that received the highest allocated number of points for their collaboration with local innovation centers of business. Likewise, Edmonton’s open data program collaborates with local primary and secondary school boards—a partnership type that is still underrealized in the open data realm. Through partnership with a local school, the City’s open data portal was provided with a school food drive dataset as well as an open data story relating to driver speed feedback signs in a specific school zone.
In addition to a high Impact score, the City of Edmonton received a second-place ranking in both the Readiness and Implementation sections of the survey. Their high rankings amongst all survey sections exemplify their holistic approach to open data program structure, ensuring that all elements of their program—governance, quantity and quality of datasets, and community impact—are considered.
“The Open Cities Index is a good way for the City to measure ourselves and ensure that we continue the pursuit of our goal of transparency and openness. Being rated among the first in North America is confirmation that we are on the right track, and reinforces the decisions made.”
— Mary Persson, Deputy City Manager, Financial & Corporate Services, City of Edmonton
Provided by the City of Edmonton Open Data Team — During 2020, the City of Edmonton’s open data program concentrated on improving the quality of existing datasets, and ensuring that users are able to find what they’re looking for; metadata has been made more consistent and meaningful, datasets have been merged where possible, and superfluous assets have been removed.
As part of the City of Edmonton’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the open data team has created and maintained a number of accessible and machine-readable datasets containing data published by other orders of government in non-accessible formats. In addition, single-day snapshot data provided by AHS has been compiled into datasets that retain the historical data such that users can analyze trends over time. These datasets have been used as part of internal decision making, for public-facing dashboards (combined with bylaw complaint and enforcement data), by other municipalities within Alberta, and by members of the public.
2. Ottawa, ON
Ranking: 2nd | Score: 97.60%
The City of Ottawa received high rankings in all three categories, demonstrating a mature and holistic open data program. Tied with the City of Edmonton for the first-place ranking in the Impact category, Ottawa’s open data program has a large impact both within the City’s organization and the community. The open data program has created an internal data hub to streamline data that is uploaded and utilized by different departments within the organization. The hub diminishes the effects of siloed data, such as duplication, to ensure the greatest accuracy of data and overall value to all departments.
Externally, the City of Ottawa’s open data program has made significant impacts within its community. One such example is the development of the site join.ottawa.ca by a local entrepreneur. The site uses the City’s recreation dataset to help residents navigate the thousands of programs offered by the City of Ottawa, helping them find a specific program they are looking for. Following the popularity of the site among residents, the City partnered with the individual and is now hosted on the City’s website.
“Open Ottawa has been a key platform for us to share relevant data regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, including an interactive dashboard, neighbourhood level COVID case counts, community outbreaks and more. It’s truly been a One City, One Team effort with representatives from every single City department, Ottawa Police Services, Ottawa Public Library and Ottawa Public Health on our open data team. We’re very proud to be one of the top three open data programs in North America and look forward to further expanding our program with our many community partners.”
– Valerie Turner, General Manager, Innovative Client Services, City of Ottawa
3. Winnipeg, MB
Ranking: 3rd | Score: 96.30%
The City of Winnipeg achieved the highest score in the Implementation category among all survey respondents, contributing to their third place ranking overall. Additionally, the City also demonstrated excellence in the Impact category, highlighting the impact of their robust open data portal. Winnipeg tracks the usage of their open datasets in local websites and applications, as well as internally by the organization, to continuously ensure that their open data portal stays up-to-date and relevant.
Even more, the City of Winnipeg’s commitment to their open data program is exemplified in their adoption of the International Open Data Charter, among only two other 2020 OCI participants. Aligned with the 6 principles of the Charter, Winnipeg’s open data policy sets out to ensure a well-governed open data program, exemplified by their 3rd place ranking this year.
“Open and transparent government has never been more important than now as we all deal with the challenges of COVID. Having Open Data as a guiding principle within our City ensures citizens have access to the information most important to them by default.”
— Glen Cottick, Acting Director of Innovation and Technology Services, City of Winnipeg
Coral Gables, FL
Ranking: 9th | Score: 50.20%
The City of Coral Gables scored the highest out of all US participants and jumped an incredible 21 ranks from the 2019 OCI earning them the title of Most Improved. Ranking 1st overall in Readiness and 3rd overall in Impact, they are constantly striving to make government data accessible.
Coral Gables was also named one of StateTech Magazine’s 8 Smart Cities to Watch in 2020 alongside much larger cities. A small city with big open data ambitions!
“Our city is grateful and humbled by this recognition, which is the result of a citywide team effort toward higher transparency, openness, inclusion and continuous improvement of our digital services and citizen engagement platforms. As a data-driven organization, actionable data and insight are key for operational efficiencies, customer service, situational awareness, and timely response and decision making. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the 2020 Open Cities Index and measure the effectiveness of our smart city data programs and public platforms, as we continue learning and improving the digital services we provide to our citizens.”
— Raimundo Rodulfo, Director of Information Technology / Chief Innovation Officer, City of Coral Gables