Amsterdam has a new coalition agreement. The paragraph on democratisation and the Digital City was well received - a London-based researcher from Amsterdam liked the plans so much she decided to translate them into English.
The new coalition wants to create a democratic version of the smart city. Citizens should be in control of their data. The city will support co-operations that provide an alternative to platform monopolists. An information commissioner will see to it that the principles ‘open by default’ and ‘privacy by design’ are implemented.
The agreement also lists a number of issues the city is (or was) already working on:
- City council information will be opened up. In 2015, the city council asked to make documents such as council meeting reports, motions, written questions etc available as open data. Since, some of that data has been made available through Open Raadsinformatie, but as yet no solution has been found for offering all council information in a machine readable form.
- Freedom of information requests (Wob requests) will be published. Amsterdam started publishing decisions on Wob requests earlier this year; so far three have been [published][wob].
- Interestingly, Amsterdam wants to use open source software whenever possible. Over ten years ago, Amsterdam planned a similar move, and its plans were sufficiently serious to needle Microsoft. In 2010, the plans foundered on an uncooperative IT department.
All in all, a nice combination of new ambitions and implementation of ‘old’ plans.