How open data can help keep Europe’s cities moving

Urban mobility and open data

At Microsoft, we believe that better data sharing can help us tackle some of humanity’s most pressing challenges. This is the foundation for our Open Data Campaign. One growing area of environmental and social concern is the rapid rate of global urbanization.

More than half of the world’s population currently lives in cites – and this is set to rise to almost three-quarters within the next decade. In the EU, around 72% of the population lives in urban areas. But more people living in cities brings with it a wider range of challenges; from congestion-related carbon emissions, and air quality concerns, to meeting consumer expectations for flexible yet easily-accessible public transportation options.

Tackling these complex yet intertwined challenges demands a smarter, more joined-up approach. Technology and data sharing can play an essential role here, along with increased collaboration between city government, transport providers and mobility companies.

Making the EU a role model for a society empowered by data is one of the priorities of the European Commission.

The Commission’s European Data strategy aims to make the EU a leader in a data-driven society. It wants to ensure that “people, businesses and organizations should be empowered to make better decisions based on insights from non-personal data, which should be available to all”. Microsoft supports this European approach to open data.

Recently, Microsoft’s Chief IP Counsel, Jennifer Yokoyama, spoke with Greg Williams, editor of WIRED magazine, about how open data can keep cities moving and make them greener, cleaner and better places to live.

Asked about the importance of open data, Jennifer explained how, with better data, AI can drive faster and more significant breakthroughs on a range of societal challenges, including the impact of urbanization. She noted the importance of European regulators’ forward-looking approach to data policy, which is crucial for the development of trusted data sharing ecosystems and for powering local economic opportunity. She also explained how, in London, public and private organizations are working together to use open data to inform the transition to electric vehicles, as a means to reducing carbon emissions and urban air pollution.

Watch the full interview below.

Learn more about how Microsoft customers and partners are supporting smart mobility solutions across Europe.

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