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techUK throws spotlight on smart cities


Mark Say Managing Editor

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All cities should be developing smart city capabilities such as regional chief digital officer forums, according to a new report from IT industry association techUK.

Titled Demystifying the smart city – working towards better implementation, it has been put together by the organisation’s working group on the subject and covers fundamental steps for local authorities in the smart city value chain.

The report lists five recommendations, including that all city authorities should be looking at developing the relevant capabilities to drive change. This should be accompanied by a mindset in which digital permeates every aspect of local public services, with strategies interwoven with all elements of local plan making, and by local innovation systems engaging all participants, including residents, businesses, academia and third sector organisations.

Chief digital officer forums should be set up to improve local collaboration, at regional and national level, and councils should work closely with technology businesses to develop new approaches.

It also outlines five pillars of a successful smart city, taking in: technology with an emphasis on data, emerging technologies and connectivity; integration of infrastructure for the exchange of data; engagement with citizens; cross-sector collaboration; and the development of strong, outcome focused commercial models.

In addition, the report includes a number of case studies of new approaches to developing smart cities.

Transformative potential

Georgina Maratheftis, associate director for local public services at techUK, said: “Smart cities have the potential to deliver transformative benefits for local areas and councils are leading the way in showing how powerful technology can be in improving citizen outcomes, strengthening the economy, and protecting the environment.

“However, smart city projects are woven within layers of complexity which can often make the delivery process difficult and susceptible to failure. We hope this report will start to unpack some of this and pave the way for more projects which are outcome led and based on collaboration and best practice at this crucial time”.

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