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Smart City PDX Open Data Program

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Screen on a table with text "How to get started with a data project," a speaker on the table, next to a podium with the City seal
The Open Data Program is working to increase transparency, foster a culture of using data to inform and evaluate City decisions, reduce staff time devoted to responding to requests for City data, encourage innovative approaches to meeting City goals, and achieve more equitable service outcomes.

Open data at the City of Portland

The City of Portland is committed to the publication, open access, and widespread sharing of data collected and generated by the City, and by private sector companies, non-profit organizations, academia, and other parties working on behalf of the City.

Open data is a tool that government has to offer more transparency and public engagement by using data from agencies to inform the community about specific topics, themes, or issues relevant to them.

The Open Data Program, and more intentional management of City data, is a foundation for our Smart City PDX goals of using data to inform decisions, to design and evaluate policies and programs, enhance community engagement, and to partner with the private sector, researchers, and non-profits to meet City goals around livability, affordability, safety, sustainability, and equity.

The Open Data Program also promotes the use and implementation of open standards in government. Open standards facilitate interoperability and data exchange among different products or services and are intended for widespread adoption. Open data standards also facilitate understanding of information, data exchange, and interoperability.

Background

In 2009, Portland became the first city in the United States to adopt an Open Data Resolution (Resolution No. 36735) to encourage the expansion of the technological community by promoting open data and partnerships between City government and the public, private and nonprofit sectors, academia, and labor.

In May of 2017, Portland formally adopted an ordinance to establish an Open Data Policy and create an Open Data Program (Ordinance 188356) to expand upon the work completed as a part of the 2009 Resolution, establishing mechanisms for engaging all City bureaus in the proactive collection and distribution of City data. The ordinance establishes Open Data Policy to be committed to the publication, accessibility, and equitable and widespread sharing of data collected and generated by all City bureaus and by private sector companies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and other parties working on behalf of the City. The City will also strive to make data open by default.

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