Changing Planet

Expert Voices: Oliver Wise, City of New Orleans Analytics Director on the power of open data

At the recent Data for Good Exchange, Oliver Wise, Analytics Director for C40 city New Orleans talked about how the city is using open data platforms to drive economic recovery post Katrina and enhance climate resiliency. Part of this effort included developing an app called “Blight Status,” which uses open data to track progress and results in reducing urban blight in the city.

In a video of his remarks, Oliver Wise noted the growing need for cities to leverage data to set priorities, deliver on targets and measure results – all to the benefit of urban citizens:

“I think also what we need is talent in government – and city government in particular – who know how to use that data to identify challenges that departments are having and then deliver some intervention to them that they’re going to use to help deliver better services to citizens.”

Earlier this year marked ten years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the coastal C40 city of New Orleans. Under the leadership of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the city has undertaken significant efforts to enhance resilience against climate threats.

The lessons learned in New Orleans can apply to cities around the world, and here at C40 we are committed to transparency and accountability through open data. Indeed, our very own Seth Schultz, C40 Director of Research, Measurement & Planning also participated in the Data for Good Exchange, chairing a panel discussion on using data to solve city problems.

You can view more climate change-related data from C40 cities at — and the full set of open data, including emissions reduction targets for every city—at

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of large and engaged cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally. Recognizing that cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions, our organization’s global field staff works with city governments, supported by our technical experts across a range of program areas to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency in large cities across the world. The current chair of the C40 is Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, and 108th Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg is President of the Board. The Steering Committee includes: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul and Tokyo.

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