On May 18, Copenhagen city government launched a data marketplace that allows companies and citizens to buy and sell data, in an attempt to provide more entities with information that they can use to create interventions in the Scandinavian city.
City Data Exchange Copenhagen, or CDE – which covers Copenhagen and the surrounding area and currently holds 1.5 billion bytes of data – promises to make available huge volumes of data that are currently held by both the private and the public sector. CDE, which was developed from a meeting hosted by Danish green technology network CLEAN which brought cities, regions, universities and companies together in 2014, was funded by the city government and the Capital region, which contributed four and five million Danish krone, respectively (a total of roughly $1.35 million). In May 2015, Hitachi Insight Group was awarded the tender and began work on developing the technical solution and building up the ecosystem of data suppliers and consumers.
“The City Data Exchange is a marketplace where you can buy and sell data (some will also be free of charge) and it has a special focus on data related to the challenges in the city,” Peter Bjørn Larsen, CDE Copenhagen Director, Hitachi told Cities Today. “It should not be seen as a replacement for open data portals, but an addition.”
“I want Copenhagen to be a city laboratory for designing and testing new technology,” Copenhagen mayor Frank Jensen told Computer Weekly, expressing his desire to make the city a hub for technologies that would make cities more efficient places that were better to live in. Jensen hopes that the innovation spurred by City Data Exchange will contribute to making Copenhagen the world’s first carbon neutral capital by 2025.
According to Rob Farris, vice president of business development at Hitachi Insight Group, the biggest challenge around managing the platform will be making it profitable for organizations selling and sharing their data, as well as useful for users. Farris notes that the platform has gained interest from cities like Oslo and Helsinki, as well as Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Denver, and Austin.
Organizations get to decide which data is valuable to others and make it available through an application programming interface (API). On the user’s end, data consumers can navigate the marketplace ad request the data that they want.
One of the biggest issues that the city will have to grapple with is ensuring the privacy of citizens – particularly since much of the information sold through the platform will go to the private sector, although it is still not clear how the city will do that.
At the time of launching, the CDE team had 65 sources of open data on Copenhagen covering everything from demographics to weather to crime statistics.