SofC's Urban Data Centre parters with Innovate Cities to Demystify Urban Data

October 19, 2021 by School of Cities Staff

U of T's School of Cities Urban Data Centre (UDC) and Innovate Cities (IC) partner to address the challenges presented by urban data. This collaboration will further strive to connect data, technologies and processes that were typically siloed.

School of Cities and Innovate Cities partnership banner

Together Innovate Cities and the Urban Data Centre will facilitate the sharing of data from producers in an accessible and useable form through Innovate Cities’ Data Trust, CityShield. Urban Data Centre aims to support the design, planning and operations of cities by expanding the opportunities presented by data and support a wide array of ground-breaking Canadian urban research hitherto impossible due to previous limitations on access to data.

“Data is currently the preserve of private corporations. We are building CityShield, a not-for-profit data trust utility that will share de-identified data with innovators at cost, abiding by the highest privacy and governance standards,” said Hugh O’Reilly, Executive Director, Innovate Cities. “The partnership between Innovate Cities and the University of Toronto’s School of Cities Urban Data Centre will help to promote Canadian innovators while also helping cities to attract innovators and enhance local economies.”

Under this partnership, the two organizations will address complex urban challenges through the use of data for good, with the aim of making cities more sustainable, prosperous, inclusive and equitable. The two organizations will collaborate on a variety of initiatives including demonstration and pilot projects, as well as the creation of practices and standards for responsible data sharing.

“We are excited to partner with Innovate Cities to help cities solve their most critical digital infrastructure challenges,” said Mark Fox, Senior Advisor and Director at the University of Toronto’s School of Cities Urban Data Centre. “With this partnership, we are contributing to achieving our mission of enhancing the design, planning and operations of cities by identifying the opportunities and addressing the challenges presented by urban data.”

We are very excited about this joint venture and look forward to all we can accomplish together.


About the Urban Data Centre

Through the Urban Data Centre at the School of Cities, we aim to enhance the design, planning and operations of cities by providing urban researchers with a vastly broader set of data and data sources that will enable a richer set of analyses. We believe that a common data model enables cities to share information, plan, coordinate, and execute city tasks, and support decision making within and across city services, by providing a precise, unambiguous representation of information and knowledge commonly shared across city services.

Under the leadership of Professor Mark Fox, the Urban Data Centre will work towards spawning an entire eco-system of research, development and productization into the issues of data curation, validity, authenticity/integrity, cleaning, trust, relevance, and fusion. In addition, issues of access, ownership and privacy can be explored.

About Innovate Cities

Innovate Cities is committed to creating more inclusive, livable and sustainable cities which use data to improve citizens’ quality of life while protecting their privacy and earning their trust. Innovate Cities is a platform that is used for the promotion of Canadian innovators as well as the means to connect those innovators to one another, to potential customers, and to established tech companies.

We are an action-oriented, not-for-profit organization that believes in the power and value of data. To fulfill our mission and vision, we are building CityShield – the Innovate Cities Data Trust, a platform that allows producers of data to share their data, in an accessible and useable form, while delegating the responsibilities of strict governance to a trusted third-party data fiduciary. Innovate Cities will act as this data fiduciary.

To learn more please contact:

Ravisha Mall

Communications Officer - School of Cities | University of Toronto

Trina Hiscock

Chief Marketing & Implementation Officer Innovate Cities