The proliferation of “smart technologies” has created significant opportunities to leverage data to improve everyday life across sectors. In cities around the world, local governments and private enterprises, often partnering together, have launched projects that integrate smart technologies with Internet of Things (“IoT”) capabilities into public spaces in order to promote efficiency, safety, mobility, and innovation. At the same time, smart cities must balance the need for robust data in order to achieve these benefits with public concerns regarding privacy and data use.

This paper examines the key attributes of smart cities, the essential role that data plays in fueling smart cities, and the importance of establishing appropriate guidelines to govern the management and use of the massive amounts of data that smart cities generate. This paper refers to such guidelines as “data governance” frameworks. Drawing on case studies from cities in both the U.S. and other countries, the paper discusses trends and challenges in data governance that are impacting the success of smart cities projects. Based on this analysis, the paper outlines key considerations that should be taken into account to develop data governance frameworks that will promote the success of smart cities and the benefits that they bring.