Smart Cities Forum


By Daniel Hunter

The UK’s cities will be helped to get smart, thanks to the launch of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’s new Smart Cities Forum today (Wednesday).

It comes as a new report published today values the smart cities industry at more than $400 billion globally by 2020, with the UK expected to gain a 10% share ($40 billion).

A smart city uses intelligent technology to enhance our quality of life in urban environments. Cities can use the data in a variety of ways; to save money, minimise waste, measure domestic water usage and manage transport routes.

Allowing the public access to real time information enables people to make more informed choices, such as planning a journey by checking for available room on trains and buses or even identifying car parking spaces before leaving the house.

Today’s ‘Global Market Opportunities and UK Capabilities for future smart cities’ report highlights how this technology could transform lives and provide a huge economic boost.

To ensure that the UK does not miss out on the opportunities offered by smart cities, a new Smart Cities Forum has been established, chaired by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts and Cities Minister Greg Clark, and with representatives from cities, business, and scientists.

Mr Willetts said: “The opportunity to develop new technologies for smart cities in the UK is massive. We want to make sure that we are at the forefront of this digital revolution so we can stay ahead in the global race designing new innovations in the UK and exporting them across the world.

“With around 80% of the UK’s population living in cities, we need to ensure that they are fit for purpose in the digital age. Through our information economy strategy we will support cities to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and save money.”

Volker Buscher, Arup... continued on page two >


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