Smart city applications are being deployed in UK cities and there are clear areas of excellence. However, despite the availability of technology, many projects are still at the trial stage or relatively small in scale.
Smart city is a very broad term, but essentially it is a city that deploys information and communication technology to increase operational efficiency, maximise resources and improve the quality of life of its citizens.
Nick Sacke, head of IoT solutions at IoT network infrastructure and solutions provider Comms365, says there are pockets of brilliance in the UK, such as London’s Digital Twins programme, or Bristol’s Smart Streets project. “There are some very valuable programmes going on, but they do not seem to be coordinated or joined up. There is a heavy siloing effect even within cities.”
Sam Jordan, lead in smart cities practice at end-to-end IoT technology specialist Connexin, agrees that the UK is taking “a very siloed approach”. He believes that in the early days, some local authorities got burned pursuing smart city projects that failed to deliver much value.
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