Edmonton shows global leadership in open government

Edmonton aspires to fulfill its leadership role as a preeminent global city: innovative, inclusive and engaged.

Edmonton is the first organization in Canada and the United States to adopt the International Open Data Charter, a global action network that aims to provide governments with a common foundation to realize the full potential of the open data movement.

“The Open City Initiative strives to transform the City of Edmonton into a more transparent, open and accessible organization, connected to the public and responsive to their vision for government. As a City, we have been at the forefront of the open government movement in both Canada and the United States.” says Wendy Gnenz, Branch Manager for Open City and Innovation. “Edmonton constantly looks for opportunities to align itself to global best practices. Adopting the International Open Data Charter reinforces Edmonton as a city that strives for global leadership in furthering its interpretation of open government and citizen engagement.”

The International Open Data Charter provides best practice standards that are integrated into Edmonton’s existing Open Data Program. The Charter is centered on six principles that are similar to Edmonton’s existing Open City Policy, which focuses on being transparent, participatory, collaborative, inclusive and innovative.

The Open Data Strategy, published in January 2017, outlines an action plan to realize the value of open data and the principles of the International Open Data Charter.

Gnenz explains that “Open data impacts many aspects of our city, including livability, engagement and economic growth. It is at the centre of a global transformation that demands transparency, inclusiveness and innovation from governments.”

The International Open Data Charter has been adopted by the Governments of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Uruguay as well as various individual municipalities within these countries.

Open government is all about promoting transparency and innovation, by making information truly accessible and barrier-free. The City’s Open Data Strategy aims to support openness while inspiring and empowering citizens.

A great city is an open city, and Edmonton is proudly a leader in this movement.

To learn more about the Open City Initiative, visit edmonton.ca/opencity.