An Urban Data Product by Mudlark

SUMMARY
Data, and our access to it, is an increasingly important part of everyday life. Mudlark’s Civic Dashboard project, part of Nesta’s Make It Local programme, offers a vision of how smart cities in the future will offer their data as platforms for innovation.

PROBLEM
In 2011 Mudlark built a prototype Civic Dashboard for Birmingham City Council. The second largest City in the UK behind London with a population of nearly 4 million people. The Civic Dashboard provides an insight into the services that members of the public make of the City Council. The site visualises live data from the city’s citizen touchpoints (phone, web, and in person) Both the council and residents can see the thematic and physical ‘hotspot’ areas where issues are common or recurring. In turn, residents can comment on the trends that emerge over time. Importantly the data upon which the Civic Dashboard is built is also available for others to download and reuse as they see fit. A smart city of the future will not only provide applications based on its data but will encourage others to do so too. 

SOLUTION
As cities start to collect and work with huge data sets as part of their day to day business, new tools and services need to be designed and built to give both citizens and staff a smarter approach to urban living and working. From the location of recycling centres to air pollution measurements and from planning applications to tree preservation orders. The Birmingham City Dashboard was built and tuned for the needs of Britain's largest local authority and its residents. We are now looking for new partners to work with to see how the dashboard can improve other city’s understanding of their data, and make an impact for their citizens

IMPACT ON ECONOMY
Due to the rapid advances in low cost technologies such as a widespread broadband access and cloud computing services, there is a growing expectation that this data will be made available to all. This is also creating huge opportunities to increase democratic engagement, make significant efficiencies and stimulate economic growth.

Mudlark's Civic Dashboard project has begun to realise some of these opportunities , showing how local government and cities can provide access to their data in the near future. 

IMPACT ON CULTURE
Increased community awareness of council impacts

IMPACT ON ECOLOGY
As a digital solution the impact is minimal but that the subjects that are covered on the platform from waste collection to urban maintenance will have a positive impact on the environment.