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The Europe Roundup: When Citizens "CleaNap" to Solve a Waste Crisis

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, July 25 2011

  • Italy | When Citizens "CleaNap" to Solve a Waste Crisis
    Since the mid-1990s, the city of Naples, one of the biggest and most beautiful in the south of Italy,  has suffered from the dumping of solid waste into overfilled landfills. When, in 2007, the municipal workers refused to pick up any further material, the waste began to appear on the streets of Naples, posing severe health risks to the metropolitan population.
    The crisis peaked in 2008 but hasn't been resolved yet creating strong discontent in the population. People have organized several protests and even committed extreme acts, like setting fire to rubbish.

    The population does not trust the government and politics anymore and the situation seems desperate. Some group of citizens, though, decided to organize themselves in initiatives that are also aimed at raising awareness.

    The most recent one is called "CleaNap" - it sounds like "Clean up": groups of citizens who are organizing themselves through a blog and a Facebook page to clean parts of the city, street by street. The projects started in June and have gathered 3.000 volunteers so far. CleaNap is organizing small "missions" and using the web to coordinate: their hope is to go viral and spread the idea in the several neighbourhoods that have been affected by the problem.

    And there's also somebody who wants to spread the word outside Italy: the independent group of videomakers The Jackal produced a video inspired by the uber-famous "Where the hell is Matt?" series.
    The parody is called "Where the hell is munnezza?" ("Munnezza" is "rubbish" in Neapolitan dialect) and shows a tourist dancing near monuments and piles of rubbish.
    "Our City. Let's change it together" is the final message.

  • EU | Another Step to Build a EU Open Data Portal
    At the Digital Agenda Assembly workshop on Open Data in June, the decision to build a European Open Data Portal was announced.
    Earlier this week the European Commission took a further step in realizing the European Data Portal, publishing a call for tenders to develop the portal.

    The call for tenders is one of the necessary steps for realizing the ambition of creating one pan-european Open Data portal.
    The tender procedure will result in a contract that encompasses four types of services:

    • to develop and administer a web portal to act as a single point of access to data sets produced and held by European Commission services (and by extension to data sets produced and held by other European institutions/bodies and other public bodies),
    • to assist the Commission with the definition and implementation of a data set publication process,
    • to assist the Commission with the preparation of data sets for publication via the portal,
    • to assist the Commission in supporting for engaging the stakeholders' community interested in re-using the published data sets.

    The portal should be operational by 2012.

  • Russia | A Matter of "Unqualified Transparency"
    Ivan Begtin, transparency proponent and head of the open data app contest Apps4Russia – which you can read more about here – expands on what he terms “unqualified transparency” in Russia in a post over at epsiplatform.eu.
    In a email exchange Begtin previously explained to TechPresident that although the government makes large amounts of data available, much of it is of low quality, and there's little support from Russian officials for initiatives that could put the data to use.
    Begtin points out successful grassroots-led projects like Russian-Fires.ru, which we covered in a round-up post on the growing open data movement in Russia.
    (with Becky Kazansky)

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