Last week I attended the Smart Cities 2018 conference – I found it really informative and enjoyed hearing more about the future vision for making cities smarter and more sustainable. Although smart city transformation is expanding throughout the UK, cities still face major challenges in making this vision reality.
What is meant by ‘smart cities’?
A smart city is a place where the traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies, for the benefit of its inhabitants and businesses.
The use of smart phones, smart watches, connected vehicles and digital assistants is continually increasing. Smart cities utilises these connections and combines information from these sources, together with traditional networks and services, to transform the way citizens conduct their day-to-day lives.
Dougal Shaw, BBC World Hacks, said that such technology allows you to “make rational decisions about your life in the city”.
Why is it important?
Nathan Pierce, Greater London Authority, articulated that the Local Government’s aim is to “make citizens’ lives better by making sure they are happy, healthy and occupied”. With the prediction that nearly 70% of the UK population will live in cities by 2050; achieving that aim may be a challenge.
During the course of the day, some startling statistics were revealed by the speakers:
- 50,000 deaths in the UK are related to air pollution
- 30% of traffic is caused by drivers looking for parking
- By being online, people are £500-700 better off each year
What can we do?
With smart city technology being adopted across a range of sectors, citizens are now able to make more informed decisions. But to build on this, and to assist Local Government in reaching their goal, effective collaboration is essential to ensure that our resources are being used as efficiently as possible.
Some common topics of interest at the conference were air quality, data and traffic management. All of which are areas that we can help with:
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, please get in touch or call our customer service centre on 0345 410 2222.