Niagara Region top upper-tier municipality in Canada on Open City Index

Several Niagara Municipalities rank high on 2017 Index

Last week, Niagara Region announced it was plea​sed to be recognized as the top upper-tier municipality in Canada on Public Sector Digest’s 2017 Open City Index. The Index, now in its third year, is Canada’s first study to benchmark the open data initiatives of Canadian municipalities, and examines the readiness, implementation, and impact of municipal data sets that Canadian municipalities make public and easily accessible to residents, businesses and community organizations.

Five Niagara municipalities made the list this year, with Niagara Region ranking #9 in the country, jumping five spots over last year’s Index. This success is exciting in that upper-tier municipalities often have differing responsibilities and often more limited access to certain data sets compared to lower-tier or single-tier municipalities.

The study also made special note of the City of Welland, which boasts the most-improved score over last year, climbing 43 spots from #57 in 2016 to #20 in 2017. The Cities of Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, and Grimsby were also included in the 2017 index for their work on open data initiatives.

Niagara’s strong performance in the open data community is in part due to Niagara’s Open Data Portal. The Portal, available at www.niagaraopendata.ca was launched last year as a joint community project with representation from several Niagara municipalities, non-profits, and educational institutions. The portal currently boasts over 270 data sets ranging from transit maps and cultural landmarks to municipal boundaries and tourism information.

“Regional Council is investing in the technology and expertise required to make Niagara Region data more readily available to the Niagara community,” said Niagara Region Chair Alan Caslin. “We are pleased to be working collaboratively with local municipalities, non-profits, and anchor institutions to provide greater transparency and accessibility that enables more informed decision-making across Niagara.”

“Open Data powers our analytics business, and we’re extremely proud of the entire Niagara Open Data community for moving up in this year’s Open Cities Index,” said Bob Lytle, President of Rel8ted.to Analytics “Our data collaboration with the area’s public agencies has led to increased business, and increased local jobs in Big Data. We love that Niagara continues to lead the way for mid-sized municipalities in Canada by releasing powerful, business -building data into the public domain.”

Source – Niagara Region press release
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