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London Plan throws spotlight on sensors and connectivity


Mark Say Managing Editor


The new plan for spatial development in Greater London has placed a strong emphasis on digital connectivity and the use of smart technology.

Aerial view of east London at night

Published by the Greater London Authority (GLA), the London Plan focuses on the planning policy for the city, making clear that the provision of full fibre, improved mobile coverage and the provision of internet of things (IoT) sensors should play a central role in future initiatives.

The digital elements of the plan – which takes in a broad range of issues related to planning and development – have been highlighted in a Smart London blogpost.

It points to policies for every new building in the city to receive access to full fibre broadband, and to require developers to work with mobile network operators to ensure every new building will have the signal it needs and not block signal to the surrounding area. This collaboration should begin early in the planning process.

A number of measures are outlined for achieving these aims: ensuring that sufficient ducting space is available in all new developments; ensuring that mobile connectivity will cope with an increase in demand from new buildings; supporting the use of rooftops and the public realm as foundations for mobile infrastructure; and that development plans should focus on areas with gaps in connectivity and barriers to digital access.

Climate change challenge

The blog also points to the plan’s encouragement of the adoption of smart technology to meet climate change challenges, including the collection, analysis and sharing of data on the built and natural environments. This would cover factors such as water and energy consumption, waste, air quality, noise and congestion.

The plan says that such technology could help London achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050.

It also highlights the potential for digital and data in improving the planning and development process, urging the wider use of digital modelling techniques in applications and referring to the potential of 3D virtual reality and other digital models.

Image from iStock, S Hansche

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