Socrata Joins Forces with Four Spanish Cities to Enhance and Enrich the Global Open Data Community
Gavá, Rubí, Granollers and Gijón Use Socrata’s Open Data Platform to Boost Transparency and Civic Engagement
Open Data Leaders in Spain Creating New Generation of Data-Driven Government Services
Socrata CEO Kevin Merritt to Host a Panel – “Gathering and Analyzing Urban Data” – at Smart Cities Expo
Socrata (www.socrata.com), the world leader in cloud solutions for open data and data-driven government, today announced that four cities in Spain – the City of Gavá, City of Rubí, City of Gijón and City of Granollers – have enhanced and enriched their commitment to the global open data community by embracing the company’s technology platform.
Gavá, Rubí and Granollers (each near Barcelona, in Catalonia), as well as Gijón (the largest city in Asturias and an open data pioneer in Spain), are embracing Socrata’s open data solutions to increase government transparency and civic engagement.
“For the past five years, Spain has experienced economic issues,” explains Raquel Sanchez, the Mayor of Gavá, “and we all want to use open data to improve outcomes and create new connections with our citizens. Promoting public transparency and encouraging citizen participation in government is definitely a major goal here. I’m hoping we can become influential, open data evangelists when it comes to other cities in Spain.”
Adds Eduard Gil, City Manager in Gavá: “Deploying Socrata’s open data technology is part of our city’s ‘citizen wake-up-call strategy,’ and we will focus our efforts on government administration, public safety, health services, tourism and culture, and finances. We looked at Socrata’s open data sites in places like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and we realized we could improve our transparency quickly – just like those cities. Clearly, open data transparency is a necessity for the smartest cities all over the world.”
For its part, Rubí has become a Socrata customer for many of the same reasons.
“We want to show our citizens what we are accomplishing in an easy and effective way,” says Carmen García Lores, the Mayor of Rubí, “and the best way to show these results, so people really understand, is to publish the data using Socrata. We want to build transparency and trust.”
Adds Michael Donaldson, Director of the Office of the Presidency, City of Rubí: “We opted for this portal because it helps our public action transparency, but also because it establishes new forms of communication that are closer and more participatory between the council and citizens. It empowers citizens to not only access information, but to also interpret it. Finally, it helps the dialogue and interaction improve, and so it improves the quality of our democratic institutions.”
Granollers is also busy at work developing an open data strategy, and it’s focusing on the budget and finances area first in order to demonstrate accountability to its citizens, like other similar Catalonian municipalities, according to Josep Mayoral, the city’s Mayor, and Sergi Morera, the city’s Public Manager of Planning and European Projects.
And in Gijón, the plan is to publish municipal datasets using Socrata’s open data technology solutions in order to improve citizen participation and local innovation, says Carmen Moriyón, the city’s Mayor. “We want to build an open government through transparency, collaboration and participation. With Socrata, we are building a new way to communicate with our citizens, reinforcing trust and commitment with our community,” adds Susana Alonso, the city’s Public Manager of Planning and Innovation. “Gijon’s citizens will be able to know all the information about their city hall and about their city. Socrata is the perfect and easy-to-use solution to help us reuse our datasets so people can understand the information and interact with us.”The Positive Impact of Open Data in Spain
The four cities in Spain now using Socrata’s open data platform have already made a positive impact.
“We’ve heard from public managers, community managers and data journalists, who are astonished by the platform,” says Mayor Sanchez of Gavà. “We’re a small city of only 46,000, and we don’t have a lot of power, and rarely make news. But our open data program has made others take notice of what we’re doing. This makes us very proud.”
Going forward, Gavà will begin to develop new digital services, without expense to the private sector, and it hopes to see the volume of requests for public data, via phone or email, decrease. The city will also use open data to give each department inside its organization a view into what others are working on.Open Data Goes Mainstream Around the World
The open data experience that is currently unfolding in Spain is also taking place globally.
“Open data adoption and usage is exploding in governments – big and small – all over the world,” says Kevin Merritt, Founder and CEO of Socrata. “Open data has gone mainstream. It’s a viral movement that’s now unstoppable. And, as the lifeblood of connected global networks, it’s improving the lives of people on just about every continent.”Socrata CEO Kevin Merritt at Smart Cities Expo in Barcelona on November 18
Kevin Merritt, Socrata’s CEO, will be moderating a panel – “Gathering and Analyzing Urban Data” – on November 18 (3-5 PM) at the Smart Cities Expo in Barcelona.
“Our goal,” concludes Merritt, “is to help governments, companies, entrepreneurs and app developers use the most valuable, new natural resource – government open data – to drive outcomes and impact with their constituents, and to ultimately deliver sustained prosperity everywhere.”ABOUT SOCRATA
Socrata is the world leader in cloud solutions for open data and data-driven governments. Its innovative customers include the cities of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Eindhoven; the states of New York, Illinois and Texas; US Health and Human Services; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; the UN and the World Bank. Socrata’s solutions – including the recently launched Open Data Network™ which unleashes the full potential of government data to help drive connected communities around the world – assist government leaders in improving transparency, modernizing citizen access to information and bringing data into every decision, all with unprecedented speed and cost savings. Delivered as turnkey services, Socrata’s technologies unlock data trapped in enterprise silos, mobilize and transform it into useful information that everyone can easily access, visualize, share and reuse. To learn more about Socrata, visit www.socrata.com.
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