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Manchester mayor announces ‘smartest city’ ambition



Andy Burnham emphasises social and economic elements in Digital City initiative

Greater Manchester’s new mayor, Andy Burnham, has joined the ranks of digital flag wavers with the launch its Digital City initiative, pointing to the potential of the tech sector to tackle social problems.

He announced plans yesterday morning for a summit of local technology companies and communities to take place on 6 July, saying that it will help to “shape a vision for a genuinely smart city region where technology is used as a vital part of the solution to the biggest issues we face in society.”

Burnham (pictured centre) declared an ambition for Manchester to be the UK’s leading digital city, emphasising its role in promoting economic growth and dealing with community issues.

He said: “We want to fuse technological advancement with culture, ethics, communities and places to build a world which is connected, creative and cooperative, and a modern and prosperous Greater Manchester where no-one is left behind.

“I don’t want Greater Manchester to be just a smart city – I want it to be the smartest city.”

He also announced that Richard Farnell, leader of Rochdale Council, would take on the Digital City Region portfolio in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority cabinet.

Image from Greater Manchester Combined Authority

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