Two projects of the Open Knowledge Foundation have been nominated for the Living Labs Global Award 2012: – Participatory budgeting through augmented reality and CityData – Making Cities Smarter – A central entry point to all your city’s data. Out of nearly 700 submitted showcases, about 15% have been selected to submit an extended version of the showcase. The Winning Showcases will be presented during the Rio Summit on Service Innovation in Rio de Janeiro on 2-3 May, 2012.

The Living Labs Global Award cooperated with cities in Africa, Asia, South and North America and Europe in order to present challenges related to health, mobility, education urban management and sustainable development, affecting more than 125 million people. Winners of the Living Labs Global Award are invited to implement their showcase as a pilot project, providing valuable inputs in product development and public sector procurement.

“Companies, non-governmental organisations and research centres have invested in technologies that change our cities”. The Living Labs Global Award 2012 provides an opportunity to innovators to present their solutions, receive professional and detailed evaluation, and is a distinguished recognition of their efforts in providing sustainable and innovative solutions for cities. is nominated in the category Participation in Service Design and Delivery in Sant Cugat del Valles, Spain.

An increasing number of cities invite their citizens to help allocate municipal funds through participatory budgeting. Yet these debates often remain abstract: should more funds be given to schools or hospitals? Should the city pay down debt by selling property or by reducing social benefits? aims to make budgeting debates happen where their effects will take place: out in the streets. The project will geo-code local government expenditure, and present funding information as location-based virtual overlays on mobile devices. Both the city government and normal citizens will be able to either propose new projects or rate and comment on those of others.

With a growing set of other Augmented Reality (AR) layers becoming accessible, more and more information will be available to facilitate hyperlocal decision-making. The project could be further expanded to include regular group tours through the city in which digital layers and real-life debate combine into a data-based moving agora.

CityData – Making Cities Smarter is nominated in the category Free Spatial Data for Information & Services in Kristiansand, Norway.

Where do citizens and developers go for information in your city? Perhaps for public transport timetables they have to visit the websites of the local bus and tram companies, for information about bin collections a local council site, for crime data the local police website … and so on.

CityData is a platform that brings geo-coded information from local councils, departments and agencies together in one place. Different agencies can upload links to their data from existing systems either using an intuitive web front end or via a powerful API, into grouped spaces on the platform where they can retain their distinctive branding. It provides facilities for agencies to upload and review data before it goes live. It uses non-proprietary, open-source software, tried and tested on large existing projects such as, a data platform for the Greater Manchester area.

Data can be linked on external sites, or held as structured data on the CityData server, in which case a suite of visualisations and maps are available to users as well as an API to query the data. By making data from many different local sources discoverable and searchable, CityData encourages local app developers to build services using multiple data streams – for example, combining geospatial transport and house price data to make suggestions to a user who needs to find a place to live.

Living Labs Award Contact at OKFN: velichka.dimitrova [at]

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Velichka is Project Coordinator of Open Economics at the Open Knowledge Foundation. She is based in London, a graduate of economics (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin) and environmental policy (University of Cambridge) and a fellow of the Heinrich Böll Foundation @vndimitrova