Great series of articles, only coming across them now.
One company that has proved the viability and potential of their data for use in cities and municipalities is Strava, already offering (selling?) their anonymised data to various cities for analysis of key cycling routes, etc.
For more info, http://metro.strava.com
It does show that with the right business strategy (on both sides), there is potential to work on integrating this data/information/knowledge correctly (and respecting user privacy, etc.) to optimise our towns and cities worldwide. Very exciting times!