Government continues to push for smart cities

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey has confirmed that the government continues to favour the drive towards smart cities, but is doing so without concentrating on a specific development model.

Commenting for an article in Business and Industry UK, Vaizey said that increasing devolution and large variations in local needs are behind the move to support city authorities in the development of their own smart city solutions, rather than building a specific standard.

The Internet of Things is expected to play an increasing role in the smart cities of the future, the minister stated, as is data analytics, building information management and the increasing use of electronic devices.


Projects underway

In the article Vaizey points to a number of successful projects already underway including one in Peterborough, which subsequently beat cities including Dubai and Buenos Aires to win the City Award at the Global Smart City Expo in Barcelona.

In 2015 City Verve, a Manchester-based programme, won the Internet of Things Demonstrator Competition. City Verve will trial applications for healthcare, transport, energy and the environment, culture and the community. It will share business models with other cities too.


Future schemes

Looking to the future, the minister pointed to schemes such as the Government Office for Science’s Futures of Cities Project, which is looking at the scenarios for UK cities up to 2065, and the Open University’s six week online course in smart city concepts.

What’s more, the Future Cities Catapult has identified more than 32,000 companies in the UK that are offering smart cities solutions. UK expertise in architecture and urban design already contributes £16bn and 400,000 jobs to the UK with this figure set to grow.

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