Big data for public policies

Description / Objectives

Decision-making for the common good must be based on as much information and knowledge as possible.

The report by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Revision of Word Urbanization Prospects (2018), forecasts that 68% of the global population will live in urban areas by 2050. A large concentration of population means the need to develop a sustainable city model. It is urgent that we use all the technological resources available to tackle the challenges that cities face, such as housing, pollution, transport, etc.

It is currently possible to measure and obtain quantitative data on many aspects of Barcelona in order to complement existing views on the city, using a quantitative approach. Today, data represents a very valuable raw material for institutions. 90% more data is collected now than three years ago. Big data, which is a term we have heard a lot in recent years, if we understand it, helps us to understand the real issues when it comes to housing, mobility, pollution or participation of residents in the city's political life.

Are high rental prices one of the key factors pushing residents and businesses out of the city? Anna Vergés, Technical Director of the Observatory, explains that a careful analysis of big data can help to propose alternative solutions that help to stop these forced displacements.

The City Council is taking part in the European project H2020 in order to find innovative solutions to urban mobility, such as C-Mobile. This programme aims to use artificial intelligence on our streets to ease transport, such as changing all traffic lights to green when an ambulance is going past or vehicles receiving signals about changes in speed depending on traffic or the weather. It could also be very useful in reducing pollution and traffic accidents.


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