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London and Bristol crowned UK’s leading smart cities

 smart-city

UK Smart Cities Index identifies leaders, contenders and challengers at London launch event

London and Bristol are Britain’s leading “smart cities”, according to new research commissioned by Huawei UK and conducted by Navigant Consulting.

The first-ever Huawei UK Smart Cities Index measured how well the nation’s urban centres are doing at using digital technology to improve everything from their transport infrastructure to their refuse collection.


Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, shares his views at the Huawei smart city event in London.

London and Bristol were ranked as “Leaders” at the top of the table; next came the “Contenders”, with Birmingham in third place, followed by Glasgow, Manchester, and Milton Keynes.

The Huawei UK Smart Cities Index rankings were calculated by an in-depth analysis of ten criteria within their strategy and execution, covering areas such as their vision, objectives, implementation record, environmental impact and community reach.

London and Bristol came top as a result of pioneering a range of urban innovations. London’s successes include its congestion charge scheme and other transport innovations and the London Datastore. Bristol’s achievements include the unique “Bristol Is Open” project, which has brought together the University of Bristol, Bristol City Council and industry partners to create a city-scale network for innovation. Other notable programmes include Birmingham’s plans to make East Birmingham a testbed for smart technology; Manchester’s new Internet of Things City Demonstrator; Glasgow’s range of projects developed as part of Future Cities Demonstrator programme; and Milton Keynes’ MK:Smart collaboration on IoT projects with the Open University and other partners.


Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman Huawei UK, gives welcome speech at Huawei Smart Cities event in London

The Index highlighted five themes that are common across the most successful smart city programmes which are, the importance of leadership and vision; a need to focus on local priorities and strengths; the importance of engagement with local communities; building local partnerships and understanding the way in which the data revolution can improve services and boost innovation.

The report also highlights the role the UK Government has played in building momentum behind smart cities through the Future Cities and IoT demonstration programmes which has provided important seed funding for winning cities. While the establishment of the Future Cities Catapult has ensured continuity of interest, important questions are raised regarding the need to bridge the gap between funding for demonstration projects and full-scale commercial deployments.

The report cites the need for future demonstration projects to have a strong emphasis on both measurable outcomes and sound business cases, as well as encouraging wider collaboration and knowledge sharing between UK cities.

Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, speaking at the launch event said: “The Huawei UK Smart Cities Index highlights cities developing innovative digital projects and measures how well they are performing against each other. I hope it will encourage city leaders to share best practice and promote competition, because smarter use of data and technology drives growth and delivers a better quality of life. The Government strongly supports the Smart Cities sector, through the Future Cities Catapult and the Internet of Things City Demonstrator programme, and we welcome this report.”

Gordon Luo, Huawei UK CEO, said: “From Bristol’s open data strategy to Milton Keynes’s pilots of autonomous vehicles, there are excellent smart cities projects all over the UK. We wanted to understand how well advanced these schemes were and where lessons could be learnt between them. The Huawei UK Smart Cities Index shows that, right now, Britain is one of the most advanced countries in Europe in this field. But it’s still early days and there is more work to do to build more effective partnerships between city authorities and technology providers, and in making the benefits of smart city technology apparent to a greater number of citizens.”

Eric Woods, research director at Navigant Consulting, who led the study, said: “London and Bristol stand out from the crowd for combining technical innovation with a broader strategy for city development. But there are a number of cities close behind them with strong smart city programmes. The message from our research is that more city leaders need to embed the idea of smart capabilities into their urban projects. Cities and central government also need to work together to ensure successful pilot projects are turned into scalable projects that benefit all citizens.”

UK SMART CITIES INDEX

Rank City Category
1 London Leader
2 Bristol Leader
3 Birmingham Contender
4 Glasgow Contender
5 Manchester Contender
6 Milton Keynes Contender
7 Leeds Contender
8 Peterborough Contender
9 Nottingham Challenger
10 Sheffield Challenger

Launch Event

The launch event was held at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in central London and guest speakers included, Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy and Lord Browne, Chairman, Huawei UK. Speakers from the UK’s leading smart cities included: Andrew Collinge, Assistant Director, Greater London Authority; Geoff Snelson, Director of Strategy, Milton Keynes Council and Stephen Turner, Head of Future Cities, Manchester City Council.

Huawei is one of the largest Chinese inward investors in the UK. To date Huawei has provided Smart City solutions in over 60 cities in more than 20 countries across the world. Huawei’s Smart City solutions include smart government, smart healthcare, smart education and smart transportation in countries as diverse as the Netherlands, South Africa, Brazil and China.

Two links are provided to access the UK Smart Cities Index report and an Infographic:

UK Smart Cities Index report

UK Smart Cities Infographic

Source: Huawei

Strawberry Smart Benches that charge mobile phones and monitor pollution levels are installed in London

Strawberry-Smart-Bench1

 

 

Strawberry Smart Benches Launch in London’s Canary Wharf London’s Canary Wharf shows its smart city credentials with solar-powered benches London (16 h of October, 2015) – Solar-powered Strawberry Smart Benches, have been unveiled in a world first at London’s Canary Wharf.

The launch of this new smart city technology follows Strawberry energy’s success at the Canary Wharf Cognicity Challenge. Strawberry Smart Benches represent reliable and smart city infrastructure made to meet the daily needs of the mobile generation, by providing on-the-go access to energy to recharge mobile devices. The four benches have been specially designed to suit the needs of any district that is oriented toward smart city concept. They are installed across the estate, at Jubilee Park, Cabot Square, Westferry Circus, and in front of Crossrail Station in Canary Wharf. As well as powering-up mobiles, tablets and portable music players, the Strawberry Smart Benches track air quality and noise levels in the surrounding area and include an emergency call button linked to the Canary Wharf Help Estate Centre. A further benefit of the benches is greater community feeling in public spaces, as users are motivated to chat and spend more time outdoors.

Public reactions have been strong, with passers-by attracted to the elegant and striking design by Belgrade-based architect Miloš Milivojević. The launch in Canary Wharf is the first in a roll-out across London and the UK. Value of Strawberry Smart Benches has already been recognized by local authorities, institutions and public. This innovative street furniture has recently been chosen as a winner of the ‘Connecting people and creating communities’ competition, organized by the Institute for Sustainability in partnership with the Mayor of London’s Office and supported by EIT Digital. “We are in negotiations with real estate companies and boroughs in London, so we expect that at least 10 more smart benches like these will be on service to Londoners until the end of this year,’ said Miloš Milisavljević, CEO and founder of Strawberry energy.

To speed the placement of benches, Strawberry energy is offering an early adopters programme,  with benches provided at an introductory price. “We invite Londoners to suggest locations where they would like Strawberry Smart Bench to be installed by tweeting the location with the hashtag #SEBenchLDN, and we will do our best to make it happen”, he added.

Source: Strawberry Energy