Open Data Day event
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Date(s) - 06/03/2021
All Day



The underpinning risks, challenges and opportunities of open data – a focus on the case of utilities data for land development

Hazards Forum pre-recorded webinar, in collaboration with: NOVAYA and the Open Data Institute


To celebrate Open Data Day on the 6th of March 2021, the Hazards Forum hosted an exciting panel discussion event to explore what is currently hindering the potentialization of open data in land development endeavours and what could be envisaged to solve some of these challenges. Whilst widening access to urban datasets can be key in improving mapping capabilities, environmental management and equal development, as highlighted by the Open Data Day agenda for 2021, there are risks and challenges associated with opening up the relevant datasets. In particular, the challenge associated to utilities infrastructure datasets is of paramount importance due to the coupling effect of their criticality in land development endeavours and the concerns of security threats and terrorism that underpin them. During this event, we will discuss whether the perceived risks justify the resistance in adoption of opendata initiatives and ask our two distinguished speakers to share their insights from their experience, including the challenges they have faced and their success stories.

To carry on the discussion post-event, you can send in your questions for the panel here.

Our first speaker is Yuriy Milevskiy, co-founder and managing Director of Novaya, an urban planning and development firm focused on offering clients an integrated data-driven approach to town planning, property development and urban regeneration. Yuriy will be sharing the experience of his company, with a particular focus on their recent involvement in Johannesburg. Our second speaker is James Maddison, content leader for the ODI’s ‘Open Innovation in the UK public sector’ campaign of the Open Data Institute. James will bring the wealth of knowledge and experience of ODI in trying to bring down the barriers to opendata, communicate their value, and incite companies and governments to shift to an open and trustworthy data ecosystem.


Yuriy Milevskiy, Novaya, co-founder and managing Director

Yuriy Milevskiy is CEO and Head of Digital for NOVAYALabs. He began his career as an Urban Designer and Planner at UK-based Arup delivering strategic vision plans, master-plans and strategies for growing cities worldwide. In 2010, Yuriy re-entered the academic sphere, joining LSE Cities as a Project Manager and subsequently becoming Vice Dean of the Moscow Higher School Economics’ Department of Urban Development and Planning where he led the creation of Russia’s first MSc programme in Urban Development and Planning. In 2013, Yuriy co-founded the international development and planning company NOVAYA to offer clients an integrated, data-driven approach to town planning, property development and urban regeneration. Today, his work extends to Eastern & Southern Africa, where he is collaborating with the University of the Witwatersrand and Innovate UK to deliver GIS-based tools for digital transformation to the world’s fastest-growing cities.

James Maddison, Open Data Institute, content leader for the ODI’s ‘Open Innovation in the UK public sector’ campaign’

James is a Consultant at the Open Data Institute. In his role, he works with companies and governments to help them understand how better access, use and sharing of data can create value for their organisation, and for their wider communities. He has recently been leading a project, funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, looking at how better use and sharing of engineering data can create public good.

Nina Jirouskova, Hazards Forum, Board Member (Moderator)

*Please note, this will be a pre-recorded event which will go live on this page on Open Data Day, on Saturday 6th March 2021.*


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