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This Entry is part of the Series Civics.

What's does the most transparent city look like?

What would the most transparent city even look like?

  • Visibility into financial operations
    • Budget
    • General ledger transactions
    • Purchasing
    • Grants
  • Visibility into workload
    • Road projects
    • Capital Projects
    • Public transportation
  • Visibility of assets
    • Park status
    • Schools
    • Libraries
    • Public buildings
    • Other public assets

The term "transparent city" is often used to describe a city that is open and transparent in its decision-making processes and in the way it manages its resources and information. A transparent city would have the following characteristics:

  1. Open data policies: The city government would make a wide range of data and information, such as budgets, contracts, and performance metrics, easily accessible to the public.
  2. Accessible decision-making processes: The city would have clear processes for citizens to provide input on important decisions and would be transparent about how decisions are made.
  3. Transparent budgeting and procurement: The city would have clear, easily understandable budgets and would use competitive bidding processes to ensure that contracts are awarded fairly.
  4. Independent oversight: The city would have strong independent oversight mechanisms, such as an auditor or ombudsman, to ensure that government practices are accountable and transparent.
  5. Ethical behavior: City officials would be held to high ethical standards and would be transparent about any conflicts of interest they may have.
  6. Citizen engagement: The city would encourage active citizen engagement and would provide opportunities for citizens to provide input on decisions that affect their lives.
  7. It's worth noting that a truly transparent city is a work in progress, and that there is always room for improvement. However, these are some of the key characteristics that a transparent city would have.


transparency, city, open source, and civics