Cities smarten up with new policy tool

A new tool aims to help ensure smart cities provide real benefits to the people living in them. Smart Energy GB, the firm behind the UK’s smart meter rollout, has […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A new tool aims to help ensure smart cities provide real benefits to the people living in them.

Smart Energy GB, the firm behind the UK’s smart meter rollout, has published the Resilience, Efficiency, Affordability and Liveability (REAL) Ratio.

Policymakers and city planners are increasingly introducing new smart technologies, such as automated lighting systems, energy demand side response and traffic modelling.

The REAL Ratio is a framework designed to ensure these initiatives actually make tangible and significant improvements to the lives of residents.

The tool has been designed as a way to assess approaches to delivering smart projects at various stages of development and can also be used to compare the benefits and drawbacks of various features in other cities.

It is likely to come in useful during the smart meter rollout, which many say is one of the most significant infrastructure projects of this generation.

More than 53 million smart meters are being installed across Britain, helping households to get more control over their gas and electricity.

Sacha Deshmukh, CEO of Smart Energy GB, said: “For our cities to be truly smart, systems need to be designed around the way people live their lives, not what policymakers want to impose.

“REAL can be applied to ensure smart infrastructure is designed in a way that is relevant to people’s lives.”

The EU has said cities ‘must better exploit new technology to become smarter’.

A majority of IT (Information Technology) professionals believe smart cities are at risk of cyber attacks.