Smart Cities, Open, Linked and Big Data


smart citiesCities play an ever increasingly important role in the lives of people. In 2007, the majority of people worldwide lived in towns or cities for the first time in history. In addition, we witnessed a substantial increase in the size of urban areas.

Data in and about cities becomes more important. It can enable the commitment of cities to competitiveness and sustainability. It can also be an incentive to become greener (smart energy, smart environments, smart mobility) and more lively (smart health, smart education, smart living/working). Data can function as a growth engine. It can help to bridge the digital divide to increase quality of living for city inhabitants.

City inhabitants, businesses, governments and sensors generate a lot of data. These great amounts of data flow onto the Web and are stored in ever growing data farms. At the same time, mediated communication is becoming increasingly participative and personalized by means of social computing.

The increasing attention on data is visible in discourse and the importance of concepts as Open, Linked and Big Data:

  • Open Data: an idea that certain data should be freely available
  • Linked Data: a method of publishing structured data in such a way that it can be read automatically by computers. It relates data that wasn’t previously linked
  • Big Data: a collection of large data sets, difficult to use because of the volume, the speed at which they are collected or generated (velocity) and their different types (variety)

By combining fundamental, strategic and applied research, we acquire insights in the fields described above. This research track focuses on supporting the growth of cities, raising awareness on linked and open data, and assessing the adoption and societal implications of ‘big’ data on all those involved.



Key Publications

  1. Colpaert, P., Van Compernolle, M., De Vocht, L., Dimou, A., Vander Sande, M., Verborgh, R., Mechant, P. & Mannens, E. (2014). Quantifying the interoperability of open government datasets. COMPUTER. 47(10). p.50-56
  2. Mechant, P., Van Compernolle, M., De Vocht, L., Dimou, A., De Marez, L. (2014). Linked open data and research knowledge management: an exploratory search and visualization framework. 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, Proceedings.
  3. Baccarne, B., Mechant, P., Schuurman, D., Colpaert, P. & De Marez, L. (2014). Urban socio-technical innovations with and by citizens. Interdisciplinary Studies Journal, 3(4), 143-156.
  4. Van Compernolle, M., Dewaele, J., D'haenens, T., Price, A., Buyle, R. & Mechant, P. (2014). Informatie-uitwisseling bij lokale besturen: over LOD, OSLO, IPDC en andere rare afkortingen. Stuur, 3(2), 10-14.
  5. Baccarne, B., Mechant, P. & Schuurman, D. (2014). Empowered cities? An analysis of the structure and generated value of the smart city Ghent. In R. Dameri,& C. Rosenthal-sabroux (Eds.), Smart city : how to create public and economic value with high technology in urban space (pp. 157-182). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
  6. Baccarne, B., Van Compernolle, M., Mechant, P. (2015). Exploring hackathons: civic vs. product innovation hackathons.i 3 conference 2015 : Participating in Innovation, Innovating in Participation, Abstracts

  7. Courtois, C.,& Mechant, P. (2013). An evaluation of the potential of Web 2.0 APIs for Social Research. In G. Patriarche, H. Bilandzic, J. Jensen & J. Jurisic (Eds.), Audience research methodologies: between innovation and consolidation (pp. 212-224). Routledge.
  8. Coenen, T., Mechant, P., Laureyssens, T., Claeys, L. & Criel, J. (2013). ZWERM: stimulating urban neighborhood self-organization through gamification. Using ICT, Social Media and Mobile Technologies to Foster Self-Organisation in Urban and Neighbourhood Governance, Proceedings. 2013.
  9. Stragier, J., Hautekeette, L., De Marez, L., & Claessens, S. (2013). Towards more energy efficient domestic appliances? Measuring the perception of households on smart appliances. Energy & Environment, 24(5), 689-700.
  10. De Vocht, L., Van Compernolle, M., Dimou, A., Colpaert, P., Verborgh, R., Mannens, E., Mechant, P., Van de Walle, R. (2014). Converging on semantics to ensure local government data reuse. 5th Workshop on Semantics for Smarter Cities, Proceedings.


Further questions?

Contact dr. Peter Mechant: