As part of her research project “Maximising the availability and use of local open government data,” María Elena López Reyes (Aalborg University) will work with The City of Copenhagen and Rotterdam Gemeente. Currently, the project’s development involves being in touch with the Social Hub “Fishtank.” Fishtank is a living lab initiated by the Social Department in the City of Copenhagen.
Fishtank is located in an old industrial building in what once was a meat production facility in the city’s Meatpacking district. It has been reformed into a HUB with various members: Voluntary associations, NGOs, private companies, scientists, and municipal employees. In addition to doing their regular work, the purpose of their connecting is to create social solutions in cross-collaboration amongst the Fishtank members. The projects that emerge from this aim to solve social problems and drive change for vulnerable groups in the city.
Today, Fishtank hosts company members, working with people dealing with many social problems, such as loneliness, unemployment, addictions, and truancy. The members work with the citizens to empower them to create new dignified alternatives to improve their lives. Some Fishtank company members receive funding from the local government, some from private funds, and some are financially self-preserving, as any private enterprise.
The goal of collaborating with Fishtank is to get in touch with local government officials who, as part of their work activities, collect data to develop their activities with citizen communities. In the shorter term, the idea is to understand their practices related to data collection and handling and explore potential motivations and barriers to making data openly available. In the longer term, the intent will be to collaborate with public servants and citizen communities to explore interventions that may enable the availability of more valuable data sets.