Architecture of Engagement

Open Data for Smarter and More Responsive Cities in the US – at the School of Architecture

21 November 2018, 15:00 
Art Gallery Kikoine Build. Lecture Room (001) 


The Azrieli School of Architecture

invites you to a lecture by: 


Prof. Bev Wilson

University of North Carolina


The Architecture of Engagement:

Leveraging Open Data to Design Smarter and More Responsive Cities in the U.S.



While the number of open government data initiatives has increased considerably over the past decade, the impact of these initiatives with respect to government accountability, civic engagement, and economic innovation is uncertain. Recent studies have been critical of the “bias toward the supply side” and lack of “sufficient attention to the user perspective” in the way that open government data initiatives are implemented. Open data has the potential to create both commercial and social value in cities with private firms, civic hackers, and non-profit organizations as examples of key actors who are already leveraging these resources. In this presentation, I draw upon examples from Chicago and other U.S. cities to connect Smart Cities, the open data paradigm, and the emerging field of civic technology. The first phase of the research project used application programming interfaces (APIs) to collect information on local governments across the U.S. that maintain open data portals with two of the most common open data platforms (i.e., Socrata and CKAN). In this talk, I present initial findings and reflect on a series of semi-structured interviews with representatives of the government, private sector, and community (e.g., NGOs, civic hackers) to better understand how these resources are being used and for what purposes.


Bio: Bev Wilson, PhD, AICP, is an associate professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His work focuses on the spatial and temporal aspects of development, as well as its implications for the environment and society. He also advocates for more transparent and democratic use of data and technology in urban planning and governance through his teaching and practice.


November 21, 2018, 15:00

Michelle Kikoine Foundation Art Gallery Build. 

Lecture Room (001)



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