EghtesadOnline: Tehran City Council launched an open API portal at the 2nd Smart Tehran Congress on Monday in a fresh move to boost transparency, openness, local startup ecosystem and enhance digital urban services.
API, or Application Programming Interface, is a package of codes that may or may not do a task independently. A well-designed API makes it easier to develop a computer program by providing all the building blocks, which are then put together by programmers.
The code packages are accessible through the website api.data.tehran.ir. For using the service, developers need to send a request to Tehran Municipality.
So far 11 teams have been provided with access to the code libraries. API packages cover a wide range of fields from communication services to urban transport and subway network, education and healthcare. Some code libraries are yet to be uploaded on the website, Financial Tribune reported.
During the ceremony at the iconic Milad Tower, ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said, “Freedom of information should be placed high on [everyone’s] agenda,” and reiterated calls for increased public access to data held by the government and municipal bodies.
He said an open data approach, in addition to boosting transparency augurs well for competitiveness.
“Maybe legislation needs to be revised and new laws should be introduced to help provide businesses with free access to information.”
In many countries freedom of information legislation has been a response to increasing frustration with the layers of secrecy normally surrounding government policy and its decision-making process.
Jahromi said free access to information and an open data approach is key to making Tehran a smart city.
Tehran Mayor Pirouz Hanachi supporting calls for a bottom-up approach to solving public problems said, “So far the people’s role in addressing urban issues has been grossly neglected. This must change.”
Underscoring the critical need for harmony between the rulers and the ruled, the new mayor said, “Urban development and transforming Tehran into a smart city will be possible only through regular collaboration between the public and private sectors.”
Building on the legacy of his predecessor, Mohammad Ali Najafi, the mayor called for added efforts compatible with transparent urban development. Application of smart solutions and IoT technology in urban management were put on the TM agenda during Najafi’s short tenure. The first Smart Tehran Congress was held in 2017 when Najafi was in office.
Head of Tehran Municipality ICT Organization Mohammad Farjoud told the meeting, “Informing the public about urban development performance and transparency are key factors that are a must for Tehran’s transformation into a smart city.”
Chairman of Tehran City Council also addressed the gathering. Pointing to the International Anti-Corruption Day held on Dec. 9, Mohsen Hashemi said tapping the potentials of smart technologies can help improve and increase transparency.
At the congress, the mayor and ICT minister signed an agreement to join forces and support plans for transforming the rapidly expanding capital into a smart city.
Two foreign speakers addressing the one-day congress were Andrey Belozerov, an adviser at Moscow IT Department, and Francesc Domingo from Worldsensing a Spanish technology firm. In workshops they discussed the global approach toward transforming metropolises into smart cities.