‘Smart cities improve lives and sustainability’

Smart innovation in cities and the ‘internet of things’ can significantly improve the quality of life in the UK. That was the view of experts at a Smart Cities conference in […]

By Jonny Bairstow
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Smart innovation in cities and the ‘internet of things’ can significantly improve the quality of life in the UK.

That was the view of experts at a Smart Cities conference in London yesterday. Attended by politicians, civil servants and engineers, it discussed just what smart technology might do for our communities.

Mark Prisk MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Smart Cities, believes smart innovations are the way forward for the the UK’s urban areas. He said: “The critical thing is making sure it’s more livable… …there’s a whole raft of issues which just makes daily life better and makes the city more sustainable.”

 

Geoff Snelson, Corporate Director of Strategy at Milton Keynes Council, spoke about MK’s ongoing progress in becoming a fully-fledged smart city. As a new town, Milton Keynes was built with usability and functionality in mind, making it ideally suited to adapting many potential features of smart cities such as driverless cars and smart public transport.

He said: “We’re building in the capability to draw together data from across the whole city, deploying sensors at scale to give real time feeds and coupling that with some very strong innovation environments for business and citizens to help them access and co-create new services and products.”

 

Gary Barnett, Head of Enterprise Advisory at Current Analysis, told ELN that turning London into a smart city could cost trillions of pounds but suggested any money spent would pay itself off in the long run.

He said: “I think there are plenty of cases where its not really about spending more money, it’s about making an investment to save money.”