Publication - Practical Handbook

Our territories dealing with data and their governance

Data supports improved territorial management and the emergence of smart and sustainable cities. With this 3rd volume, written in collaboration with Digital Wallonia and Futurocité, the Smart City Institute (SCI) invites you to familiarise yourself with the concept of data (and its different forms) as well as its governance! 

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(Practical Handbook - Complement #1) 

Data as a facilitator to meet tomorrow's challenges

At the territorial level, data are nowadays perceived as essential basic elements for the development of a smart city vision. Although technology is not an goal in itself, but rather a tool to achieve it, its exponential emergence provides our cities and municipalities with a way of responding to future challenges.

Indeed, for several years now, digital technologies have been playing a central role in the behaviour that underpins our daily lives. They are at the heart of our economy and have totally changed our modes of production, consumption, work, travel and interaction. They are therefore a gold mine considering the abundant data they produce.

The impressive flows of data generated by connected devices, sensors and other social networks enable the development of new applications and services with, as a potentially significant consequence, a need for information for the citizen. Cities and municipalities are therefore led to reflect on new opportunities related to these developments, in order to improve their inhabitants’ lives. The processing, availability and analysis of all this data makes it possible to provide effective solutions to the challenges facing society and to make the city of tomorrow more efficient. In this way, the inhabitants themselves also contribute to the transparency, efficiency and legitimacy of the administration.

Data governance: What is it?

However, the governance of data is a relatively recent subject, and requires reflection from the territories . It is on the basis of this observation that the Smart City Institute team has decided to dedicate this third volume to this topic. Indeed, the implementation of the RGPD in May 2018 as well as the appearance of new obligations and directives on the opening of data push cities and municipalities to question themselves:

  • What is the usefulness of the data?
  • How can they be collected?
  • What are the key steps in their transformation?
  • What data does my municipality have and what does it want to do with it?

Good data governance will enable cities and municipalities to answer all these questions, through effective supervision of data collection, use and management on a daily basis.

What can I find in this handbook and why is it of interest for my municipality?

This third volume therefore aims to inspire and accompany cities and municipalities throughout the process that will lead them to a better understanding and a more conscious and efficient management of their data. It will also focus on Open Data practices and the different ways in which cities and municipalities can exploit the data they have at their disposal.

As in the two previous volumes, this new handbook will of course be enriched too with examples of international best practices (concerning territories of all sizes), chosen for their replicability to the Walloon territory, and will include recommendations and points of attention intended to guide cities and municipalities in their reflection, while not losing sight of the final objective to be achieved.

How to obtain it?

This new handbook will be available online from 24/09/19 – for free - and will be presented at the Smart City Wallonia Fair on 24/09/19 through a workshop co-animated by our researcher Charlotte entitled: "Why and how to use the data of my territory?".


About the collection

Practical Handbooks 



Volume 1 (2017) - Your Smart City strategy in 15 key steps

Volume 2 (2018) -  Citizens participation 

Volume 3 (2019) -  Data governance

Volume 4 (2020) - Tomorrow's mobility

Volume 5 (2021) - Monitoring and evaluation

Volume 6 (2022) - Public-Private collaborations and partnerships

Discover the collection

See also - The Practical Handbook's Complements

With the support of Wallonia in the framework of its Smart Region programme, part of its Digital Wallonia strategy.


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