With the support of Mayor William Peduto, Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak has introduced the city’s first comprehensive Open Data Ordinance, joining 19 other American cities and counties in proactively releasing financial and operational data owned by the city via an online portal.
Currently, community leaders and software developers alike must request public information through the Freedom of Information Act and the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law. The proposed ordinance would proactively release data sets of city business, such as paving schedules, building permits, and property maintenance citations. Any confidential and/or personal information would be removed prior to posting online.
Open data policies in other cities have inspired software developers to create useful apps that track public transit and snow removal, as well as illustrate crime patterns in neighborhoods. Councilwoman Rudiak looks forward to achieving similar results here in Pittsburgh.
“This ordinance will be coupled with an outreach strategy to engage our growing local tech community,” said Ms. Rudiak. “We want innovation to address the needs of our neighbors, community leaders, and our very own city employees.”The full text of the bill will be shared on Councilwoman Rudiak’s website for feedback during the legislative process.
“Open data is about opening the doors of government to the people,” said Mayor William Peduto. “But it is also about spurring innovation and invention as software developers can use this data to build new applications and powerful data systems that will work to improve the quality of life of all Pittsburghers.”
Following introduction of the Ordinance, Ms. Rudiak called for a public hearing and post-agenda meeting to ensure that the public is able to provide feedback and learn more.