Smart City Business | December 2021

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December 2021


SMARTER LIGHTING LED lighting is a smart option for local authorities, as well as a wise budgetary one



Smart cities: today’s problems and solutions Firstly, welcome to the first Smart City Business, where we begin to take a look at the journey, the developments and the future of smart cities and the technologies that drive them. The global smart cities market size is expected to reach $1.03 trillion by 2028. Whether it be in data, security, transport and mobility, energy and utilities or health, there is an increasing demand for intelligent initiatives that will make day-to-day operations cleaner, quicker, safer and more efficient. In these pages, and it is our hope within all that Smart Cities Business has to offer in 2022, we will bring you the latest news and insight from the organisations using smart cities technologies to improve local regions, as well as the companies providing the solutions. In this issue we have content looking at the digital connectivity infrastructure needed for local businesses to thrive, the relationship between smart cities and sustainability, and how the pandemic has accelerated the development of smart cities here in the UK. Follow and interact with us on Twitter: @GovBusiness

I hope that you enjoy this first issue and we look forward to bringing you more in the New Year. Michael Lyons, editor

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226 High Rd, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055 Web: EDITOR Michael Lyons PRODUCTION MANAGER & DESIGNER Dan Kanolik PRODUCTION CONTROL Lucy Maynard ADMINISTRATION Amy Hinds WEB PRODUCTION Victoria Casey ADVERTISEMENT SALES Patrick Dunne, Neil Haydon PUBLISHER Karen Hopps

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December 2021

Contents Smart City Business 07

04 News

23 Facilities management

Newcastle named UK’s smartest city; Government publishes standard for algorithmic transparency; and consumers’ expectations about AI revealed in survey

Today’s smart cities rely on the connections between networks, which are comprised of fixed and mobile remote sensors. But can smart cities help contribute to a better, cleaner environment?

07 LGiU


Melissa Thorne and Kat McManus, part of the Global Local team at the Local Government Information Unit, explain how, post-pandemic, smart cities can help make cities more sustainable and responsive to the needs of local residents

13 Lighting Edinburgh has a vision to become one of the world’s smartest capital cities. In this article 
we look the role of upgrading LED street lighting in becoming smarter and lowering emissions

16 Sustainability


Businesses are now digitising fast and investing in low carbon infrastructure. Local authorities have a big role to play in this transition, writes Teodora Kaneva, head of Smart Infrastructure and Systems at techUK

18 Energy The PIRI project - the UK’s largest smart city energy regeneration scheme - has reached its halfway point. Here, we take a look at what the scheme entails and where the programme goes next

29 Transport & mobility A one-year trial funded by the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency will see an autonomous shuttle transport passengers around Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. Here, we look at the progress of autonomous vehicles in the UK

36 Security Iain Moran, director at ATG Access, discusses the myriad ways in which smart city solutions can improve the security of our towns and cities

38 Connectivity Dan Clarke, who has overseen the development of the innovative Smart workstream in Greater Cambridge, explains how the programme is being expanded to bring the benefits of new technologies to rural areas of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

21 Governance Governing Smart Cities provides a benchmark for cities looking to establish policies for ethical and responsible governance of their smart city programmes

18 21

29 36


Government Business magazine SMART CITY BUSINESS | DECEMBER 2021




Newcastle named UK’s smartest city

Newcastle has been named as the highest UK city and ahead of some of the world’s bestknown cities in the global Smart City Index. Measuring how the lives of communities are improved by smart technology, Newcastle has climbed two places from last year’s index ranking to 21st, usurping both London and Manchester to claim the title of the UK’s smartest city. The Smart City Index surveys approximately 120 residents from each city on how technology has improved their lives.

Newcastle has a thriving digital sector, at the heart of which lies the iconic Newcastle Helix, home to the National Innovation Centre for Data and the Urban Observatory, both of which are national players in the world of data and research. Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “Our reliance on technology has never been greater as we can all attest to with our experiences from the Covid19 pandemic. Our city is home to some of world’s best and brightest organisations

and businesses when it comes to pioneering technological research, and we are constantly striving to implement new technologies for the benefit of our residents. “It gives me enormous pride that what takes place in Newcastle is being recognised on a global scale, and to be the leading UK city is testament to the work that takes place within the city. By far the most pleasing element is that these rankings are compiled based on the feedback of residents, and it is brilliant to see people’s admiration for the progress being made in Newcastle.” Globally, Singapore was ranked in first, ahead of Swiss city Zurich in second and Norwegian capital Oslo in third. Other UK cities to make the list include London (22), Leeds (24), Manchester (26), and Glasgow (49). READ MORE


Croydon residents to benefit from high-tech bus shelters Croydon council has announced that bus shelters in the borough will soon be replaced and upgraded with digital screens and stateof-the-art technology. Croydon Council has begun a 10-year contract with VALO Smart City UK LTD which will transform sites across the borough with smart bus shelters providing real time journey information, digital screens and free public Wi-Fi hotspots. Air quality, noise, footfall, and traffic flow sensors will be integrated in the shelters to monitor the area’s environment and digital panels will display emergency messages and travel information relevant to each specific location. Digital advertising will bring in more than £6.75 million in revenue to the council.

Mobilisation works are already underway, and the new smart bus shelters will start to be rolled out in March 2022 subject to planning approval. The move means that Croydon will be the first borough in the country to benefit from this private public partnership and VALO will install the new bus shelters for no extra charge as part of the contract. Muhammad Ali, cabinet member for sustainable Croydon, said: “I am very excited about the arrival of these smart bus shelters which will make residents’ travel experiences more enjoyable, informative and safer. The smart city sensors will also act as a great tool in our continued mission to become a greener, more sustainable borough. “Our partnership with innovators VALO will be our latest step towards Croydon becoming

not only a digital council but the first truly connected smart borough which uses technology to enhance and transform the lives of our residents for the better.”



Government publishes standard for algorithmic transparency The Central Data Digital Office is helping public sector organisations provide clear information about algorithmic tools they use to support decisions. One of the world’s first national standards for algorithmic transparency, the move delivers on commitments made in the National AI Strategy and National Data Strategy, and strengthens the UK’s position as a global leader in trustworthy AI. The CDDO has worked closely with the


Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to design the standard, and has also consulted experts from across civil society and academia, as well as the public. The standard is organised into two tiers. The first includes a short description of the algorithmic tool, including how and why it is being used, while the second includes more detailed information about how the tool works, the dataset/s that have been used to train the model and the level of


human oversight. The standard will be piloted by several government departments and public sector bodies in the coming months. Following the piloting phase, CDDO will review the standard based on feedback gathered and seek formal endorsement from the Data Standards Authority in 2022. READ MORE



Consumers’ expectations about AI revealed in survey Euroconsumers has revealed the results of a survey identifying the trends in consumers’ expectations, concerns, and opportunities related to new technologies and AI as solutions to urban problems in the postcovid era. The survey, carried out in Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Brazil, also shows cities remain attractive despite the pandemic. The research indicates that EU consumers overall find AI useful to improve life in the city, whether it be for controlling city lighting more efficiently (86 per cent), optimising

public transport (85 per cent) and waste collection (84 per cent), managing city traffic (84 per cent) or identifying criminals and missing persons (79 per cent). Although at present, most consumers think AI has only little, or somewhat of a presence, in their day-to-day life, this increases significantly when asked what they perceive the situation will be within three and 10 years. However, respondents also believe that AI-based technologies will lead to job cuts. Additionally, 55 per cent of EU think that consumers should be better informed when



London is Europe’s most technologically advanced city

UK impact startups raise £2 billion

London’s world-leading innovation, vibrant cultural scene and highperforming universities has seen the city ranked as the most technologically advanced city in Europe. Z/Yen’s Smart Cities Index found that London was the top performer out of all European cities, but was pipped to the top spot by New York, which moved from second to first place in this year’s rankings. A thriving fintech scene was highlighted as one of London’s key competitive advantages over rival cities in Europe, while its financial services industry was ranked by Z/Yen as the second best in the world, behind New York. Zurich was the city’s closest rival in Europe, placing seventh, followed by Copenhagen, ranking eighth and Stockholm in ninth. Michael Mainelli, executive chairman of Z/Yen, said: “Technology and science change how we engage with the world. The pace of innovation is heightened as connectivity keeps increasing. More and more, the successful commercial centres in the world are those who nurture technology. These smart centres are forming in four clusters, an exceptionally strong UK, North America, Europe, and southeast Asia. We anticipate the emergence of a singular China soon too. Policy makers are realising that narrow technology areas, e.g. fintech, are not sufficient and they need to rethink how they build a truly smart, knowledge economy. We have much to learn.” READ MORE

UK impact tech startups - companies founded to build solutions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals - have raised £2 billion in investment this year as technology becomes increasingly important in tackling global problems. The UK is now home to 12 impact unicorns - companies worth over $1 billion or more in value. The unicorns are: Arrival (London); Octopus Energy (London); Babylon (London): ITM Power (Sheffield); Ceres Power Holdings (Horsham); Vertical Aerospace (Bristol); Compass Pathways (London); Depop (London); Ovo Energy (Bristol); Britishvolt (Blyth); Tractable (London); and Benevolent AI (Cambridge).In addition, there are now 22 impact futurecorns, the high-growth

they are dealing with an automatic decision system. Moreover, very few consumers believe current legislation is adequate to efficiently regulate AI-based activities, or even trust authorities to exert effective control over AI organisations and companies. Therefore, while consumers are welcoming of the idea of AI in a city context, to build trust in AI, a strong regulatory framework needs to be created and implemented. READ MORE

scale-ups which are on track to reach unicorn valuation in the next few years. Most of the capital from impact funds is going to companies creating affordable and clean energy and tackling the climate crisis, something investors across the globe are paying closer attention to given the threat caused by global warming. Collectively, climate tech companies make up 65 per cent of the deals in the impact space. New analysis published by Dealroom for the UK’s Digital Economy Council has shown that impact investment in the UK has increased by 127 per cent since 2018. READ MORE


Cyber laws to protect personal tech Consumers will be better protected from attacks by hackers on their personal devices thanks to a new law introduced by the government. The ownership and use of connected tech products has increased dramatically in recent years. On average there are nine in every UK household, with forecasts suggesting there could be up to 50 billion worldwide by 2030. People overwhelmingly assume these products are secure, but only one in five manufacturers have appropriate security measures in place for their connectable products. The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will allow the government to ban universal default passwords, force firms to be transparent to customers about what they are doing to fix security flaws in connectable products, and create a better public reporting system for vulnerabilities found in those products.

A recent investigation by Which? found a home filled with smart devices could be exposed to more than 12,000 hacking or unknown scanning attacks from across the world in a single week. in the first half of 2021, there were 1.5 billion attempted compromises of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, double the 2020 figure. Julia Lopez, Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure, said: “Every day hackers attempt to break into people’s smart devices. Most of us assume if a product is for sale, it’s safe and secure. Yet many are not, putting too many of us at risk of fraud and theft. Our Bill will put a firewall around everyday tech from phones and thermostats to dishwashers, baby monitors and doorbells, and see huge fines for those who fall foul of tough new security standards.” READ MORE



Advertisement Feature Written by Ed Parham and Tim Stonor, Space Syntax

How can technology help make towns and cities better? Space Syntax helps public sector organisations at different stages of their smart city journey, providing datasets, decision support tools and training “Smart City” has become a contentious term – early projects were often expensive, didn’t fully deliver and embedded top-down models in city operation. Nevertheless, the term remains widely used as shorthand for the use of technology in planning and operating cities. A new approach to Smart Cities is facilitated by developments in technology as well as changes to the wider social, political, environmental and economic context. In particular, COVID-19 has led to a re-evaluation of many accepted norms, making now a good time to consider what we want our towns and cities to be like and the potential of technology to deliver policy objectives. What is a Smart City? A Smart City uses technology to make urban life better for people. This means using data and modelling techniques to understand how the planning and operations of the urban environment influence the everyday behaviours of people, and how this then leads to social, economic and environmental outcomes. For example, regular driving to work is associated with higher risk of negative health outcomes, worse air quality, congestion and carbon emissions. The physical and spatial make-up of towns and cities plays a fundamental role in shaping human activity patterns – for example the way streets, land uses, densities and public transport combine to make it more or less easy to walk to work or school. Understanding the influence of the urban environment makes it easier to set realistic, long-term policy objectives.

Drivers of future urban change Urban policymaking is being transformed by two key factors: climate and health. As many as 75 per cent of England’s local authorities have declared a climate emergency and are developing road maps to reach zero carbon; the Welsh Assembly has adopted the Well-being of Future Generations Act, stating that all decisions consider their long-term impacts; voluntary reporting on UN Sustainable Development Goals has been adopted by cities including London; and the NHS has adopted a long-term plan based around prevention, place and technology. These same drivers are guiding the development of Smart Cities technologies, for example Space Syntax’s Walkability Index of the UK, which highlights the physical factors required to encourage low carbon mobility. Smart Cities applications throughout a project lifecycle Any project, from idea to outcome, must go through several stages, including policymaking, planning and design to construction, operations and maintenance. Earlier Smart City solutions (and many Digital Twin solutions) focus on later stages, for example managing city traffic lights using live traffic flow data. Such solutions can improve performance but will not fundamentally address the reasons why so many people are driving in the first place. Understanding why and where something happens requires not only technology solutions but domain expertise to explain the way that cities work. This means

thinking about cities as systems of systems: of street connections, land use attractions, transport links and service infrastructures; then being able to analyse how each system works in isolation, and in combination with the others. The National Digital Twin programme proposes an ecosystem of connected digital twins to foster better outcomes from our built environment. To make early policy and planning decisions, while still enabling operational decisions to be made later on, requires inter-operable technologies that match suitable levels of data and processing power to the stage of the project. Technology such as Space Syntax’s Integrated Urban Model makes it possible to do this. Using aggregated, anonymised data it is possible to see whether more vulnerable populations live in worse areas, to explain why, then to prioritise areas for intervention and specify improvements. This enables three policy directions, to: design better new places which support different behaviours; recognise existing problem areas and target physical interventions in response; and identify how to mitigate existing physical conditions through non-physical methods. Are these technologies available to policymakers? Yes: strategic, data driven, decision-support tools have been developed; accessible, webbased engagement tools are available; city systems data is published. Unlike earlier Smart City solutions, many new technologies have been developed by individual SMEs in ways that allow integration with other tools. Instead of creating a one-size fits all solution that is expensive and potentially difficult to adapt, future Smart City solutions are being constructed from an interoperable ecosystem of tools and datasets. Smart City 2.0 Recognising the opportunities technology has to deliver societal benefits, while addressing earlier criticism, the term “Smart City 2.0” has emerged. Smart City 2.0 focuses on delivering better outcomes, informed by and open to community engagement. While this approach is ambitious and requires wider change, UK companies have the technology, knowledge and experience to deliver Smart City 2.0 solutions, helping create cities that improve outcomes for people and the planet. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Combined Public Transport Accessibility of Medway Towns



Smart cities

Smart cities and local government: what next after the pandemic? Melissa Thorne and Kat McManus explain how, post-pandemic, smart cities can help make cities more sustainable and responsive to the needs of local residents When the Covid-19 pandemic forced us to collectively think more deeply about population health, tracking the ‘health’ of areas via maps and frequent updates quickly became part of the global landscape, whether that be at country, county, or ward level – or nongeographical groupings such as age, occupation or ethnicity. This data – often collected via positive Covid-19 test results, self-report surveys or hospital capacity – is being used to identify prevalence and transmission patterns of the disease, in some countries leading to localised lockdowns or tiered systems as a measure to prevent spread, often with success. Despite some clear resistance from some groups to the measures, on the whole populations have quite quickly adjusted to a level of sacrifice of their personal data and freedom on whereabouts and health for the sake of the collective good of their community’s health. But what if, in a similar vein – importantly being non-invasive and anonymised – population data could be aggregated and mapped to help address alternative concerns such as improving well-being, sustainability or health outcomes for populations?

coupled with pollution measurements will How smart technologies can help inform transport decision making to improve make cities more sustainable and traffic flows, reduce pollution and influence climate-resilient urban planning outcomes for cyclists and In recent years, the concept of smart cities has pedestrians. shifted away from emphasis on futuristic ‘smart’ Meanwhile in Dún tech to focus on how new or pre-existing Laoghaire, a town technologies might be repurposed outside Dublin, to help make cities sustainable, The Ireland, the clean, and climate-resilient. Such p a ndemic Council has initiatives can take the form of created a clear partnered anything from real-time traffic a n with company management for pollution need to d pressing a BigBelly to reduction, to mapping areas c c e t l e h rate e uptak provide realat risk from climate change services e of digital time data and providing early warnings, w on waste, to using smart construction operati ithin local providing a methods and technologies to ons and solution to waste reduce embodied and operational services issues posed by carbon from our buildings. both tourism and The Nordic Smart City Network’s weather unpredictability. Nordic Healthy Cities project, run The reduction in frequency of between five countries, aims to utilise collections has resulted in an annual saving population-level data to improve health of €200,000 for the local authority, alongside and sustainability outcomes. One initiative environmental benefits (69 tons of CO2 saved uses GDPR-approved radar technology to annually). E provide accurate transport data, which when SMART CITY BUSINESS | DECEMBER 2021


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 Becoming more responsive to the needs of residents Smart technologies can help cities to respond to the needs of their residents more quickly and effectively. Local authorities can improve the quality, interactivity and availability of their customer services through online service portals and social media. In the U.S. city of Boston, an offline SMS chatbot provides food resources information 24/7 in eight languages, while in Seoul, South Korea, an AI chatbot on a popular messaging platform responds to common public enquiries and files complaints. Civic apps can be developed to allow service delivery to be informed by real-time data. In Helsingborg, Sweden, care home staff can use an app to order groceries and medication for elderly residents, which is dropped off in nearby chilled lockers. Other apps allow community members to report issues such as potholes or pipe leaks to identify where works are needed more quickly. Some cities monitor services and infrastructure in real time using embedded sensors through an ‘internet-of-things’ approach. These sensors track areas such as energy grid performance, water systems and pedestrian traffic flow to work out where maintenance and support is needed more accurately. Open data platforms, presented in an accessible way, help to improve public trust in municipal services. Better public data availability supports better evidence-based decision making within councils, by making different types of services more visible and encouraging improved interaction between them. However, cities must take care to communicate clearly about the value of new technologies to manage residents’ concerns about surveillance and data privacy. A comprehensive data strategy and partnerships with trusted institutions, such as universities and not-for-profits, can help to alleviate these fears. Ongoing community engagement is crucial to make sure smart solutions address genuine local needs. Cities must also be careful not to reinforce existing inequalities through smart initiatives and work to improve access through digital inclusion projects and skills training. Cities can investigate options for more equitable infrastructure access, such as by making free Wi-Fi publicly available.

Local authorities should identify priorities from existing challenges faced by their specific communities, gather data to gain further insights and then use smart technologies to make their solutions stronger Evaluating the success of smart city technologies Ongoing evaluation processes are a key way for local authorities to ensure that smart technologies continue to meet the needs of their communities. Local authorities can use frameworks to assess their progress, such as the Smart Cities Wheel, which was developed by academic Boyd Cohen to highlight the different components that make a city smart. Each contributing segment – smart government, smart living, smart mobility, smart people, smart economy and smart energy and environment – is accompanied by three indicators for local governments to use to track their success. For example, smart government is indicated by open government, technological infrastructure provision and provision of online services through their administration. Cities must work out how these indicators can be best applied to their specific situation and what their priorities are. Boyd Cohen emphasised the importance of engaging local residents, developing baselines to inform targets and testing smart city strategies through smaller pilots to use this framework effectively within councils in an article for Fast Company. More formal assessment processes are also available. For example, more than 40 U.S. cities have been involved in the What Works Cities certification, which evaluates how effectively data and evidence are integrated into decision-making. Launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2015, the certification process examines how data is used in eight areas: governance, evaluation, general management, transparency, performance and analytics, aligning the city’s budget with its strategic priorities, comparing contractor performance and engaging stakeholders. These dimensions can be helpful as parameters for integrating data practices

holistically within local authorities outside the U.S. as well. Looking ahead Local authorities responded to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic by using data in innovative ways, such as connecting their datasets, using data in collaboration with private companies to monitor pedestrian traffic flows and analysing CCTV footage to improve social distancing in public spaces. A 2020 retrospective report by the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation in the UK highlighted how the widespread use of datadriven smart technologies helped to mitigate the catastrophic impact of the pandemic. However, the Covid-19 Repository & Public Attitudes report shows that local authority innovation cannot be sustained without considerable support and ongoing funding. The pandemic created a clear and pressing need to accelerate the uptake of digital services within local operations and services. However, local authorities must make sure that future integrations of smart technologies also enhance their response to genuine local needs rather than being purely led by technology. For a city to be truly smart, smart technologies must be used in a place-based, community-centred and goalfocused way. Local authorities should identify priorities from existing challenges faced by their specific communities, gather data to gain further insights and then use smart technologies to make their solutions stronger, rather than seeing a technology that might have worked elsewhere and trying to apply it to a potentially less appropriate context. The smart city market is projected to value US$2.46 trillion by 2025, according to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. Technology companies and ambitious businesses across the globe will be keen to use this lucrative market to their advantage. It is crucial that local authorities focus on using technology to help to address the impacts of further pressing global challenges on their communities: from early warning systems about severe weather and bushfires to urban heat island mapping to making social care and health support more accessible to the people who need it. L

Melissa Thorne and Kat McManus are part of the Global Local team at the Local Government Information Unit. Our free, weekly newsletter, the Global Local Recap, highlights best practice and innovation by local governments around the globe. FURTHER INFORMATION



Advertisement Feature

Three ways to start building a connected infrastructure The barriers to entry for IoT have never been lower thanks to advancements in connectivity, hardware, and software. Integrated IoT solutions like Particle have made it easier and more cost-effective than ever to add connectivity to nearly any device or system •

The United Nations predicted that by 2050, about 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. This rapid urbanization will put enormous pressure on city officials to ensure their infrastructure can handle the demands of a growing population. Without control over critical facets of city life, such as air quality, transportation, and building systems, city officials will struggle to gather the data they need to improve infrastructure, implement smarter regulations, and foster a high quality of life. The idea of a ‘connected’ or smart city changes that. To date, cities have been able to use Internet of Things technology to make certain aspects of their cities ‘smart’, such as street lights, meters, and utilities. But until recently, IoT was cost-prohibitive and difficult to deploy across wide geographic areas, and ROI was murky for some use cases. Now, IoT is more accessible than ever thanks to integrated IoT platforms that make it easy to manage the hardware, connectivity, and software needed to bring previously unconnected products online. Cities everywhere have started prioritizing efforts to bring connectivity to areas such as micromobility, emissions monitoring, and smart buildings to improve the quality of life for their residents. We’re going to break down those three use cases and discuss what kind of impact different cities have seen. Micromobility As city populations rise around the world, the dominance of cars as the main mode of transportation is straining infrastructure and leading to major quality of life issues for city dwellers, such as: • •


Congestion. A 2019 study from INRIX showed that urban congestion costs U.S. cities billions of dollars every year. Pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency found that 29 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. originate from the transportation sector, making it the single largest contributor to air pollution.

Safety. Research from the World Health Organization showed that 1.3 million people globally die every year from road traffic crashes. Over half of those deaths are vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.

There’s no single solution that will go into solving these problems, but there is one that is starting to earn a central place in every city’s transportation mix: Micromobility. Micromobility, defined as Internetconnected, electric-motorized vehicles that weigh less than 500 pounds and are used for urban trips under five miles, will have a transformative impact on how city officials plan the future of transportation. E-bikes, e-scooters, and even e-boards all fit under the micromobility umbrella. Transportation is a pillar of daily life in any city, and micromobility is making substantial progress in displacing traditional combustion vehicles. In particular, the two areas of transportation that are experiencing a substantial evolution due to micromobility is ridesharing and last-mile delivery. Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft made it possible for city dwellers to ditch their cars and rely on ridesharing to make trips. But this still lends itself to car dominance. Ridesharing solutions based around connected scooters and bikes, however, are playing a key role in reducing congestion and by taking cars off the road. Last-mile delivery, which often relies on vans and trucks, is being similarly upended by connected light electric vehicles. Research from Westminster University pitted cargo bikes against cargo vans in the City of London. Surprisingly, they found the cargo bikes beat the vans by completing deliveries 1.6 times faster while also reducing emissions and congestion. Instead of using a car to take a short trip, people can use a light electric vehicle. Rather than congestion-causing delivery trucks and vans blocking city streets, logistics providers can use light electric vehicles to make last-mile deliveries. These are emission-free, easy to use, and Internet-connected vehicles that provide citizens and businesses with more convenient modes of transportation while helping city officials solve their biggest problems around equity, sustainability, safety, and city planning.


How connected cities will use micromobility to improve transportation What makes micromobility vehicles truly transformative is their connectivity via cellular networks and Wi-Fi. This enables operators and cities to track user, vehicle, and trip data at the vehicle level, aggregate the data in a central location, and make smarter decisions about managing transportation. By implementing connectivity into each vehicle, micromobility operators and delivery providers can better align with what city authorities want and form mutually beneficial civic partnerships. Here are just a few of the benefits they’re already seeing: •

Improved rider safety. IoT-enabled vehicles allow for necessary safety features like remote locking, speed control, and accident detection.

Extended vehicle lifecycles. Sensors embedded in electric vehicles can monitor key condition metrics such as excess vibration, voltage, decreased speed, and internal component temperatures to determine if a scooter needs preventive maintenance.

Mobility Data Specification compliance. The MDS standardises communication and data sharing between cities and micromobility operators. As more cities and operators adopt MDS, they will have an easier time providing useful data to be analysed to manage public spaces.

Reliable location tracking. Cities and operators drive revenue based on trip lengths. If location signals get lost, cities and operators lose money. Modern IoT platforms use Location Fusion, which combines GPS, WiFi, and cellular signals to provide more accurate location information.

More efficient deliveries. As e-commerce demand increases, the number of last-mile delivery vehicles, such as trucks and vans, on city streets rises. Connected light electric vehicles make it possible for last-mile delivery providers to more easily navigate crowded streets, improve route efficiency, and reduce emissions.

Emissions monitoring According to research published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, three quarters of CO2 emissions globally emanate from cities. Other gases and particulates, such as methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons can also be found in high concentrations in urban areas. The environmental impact has a direct consequence for the health of people who live in cities. Research shows over half of Europe’s cities have unacceptable air quality. In the U.S., over 40 per cent of Americans in urban and suburban areas live with levels of ozone and particle pollution that are damaging to their health. This hasn’t escaped the notice of political leadership around the world. At the recent COP26, over 90 countries signed a pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30 per cent below current levels by 2030. Similar goals exist for CO2, with a phase-out on coal driving this effort. While many of these goals will be selfpoliced, several countries and cities are moving to back them with legal penalties for non-compliance. Yet, many cities struggle to accurately measure greenhouse gas emissions. According to research published in Nature, U.S. cities underreport their greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 18.3 per cent. How can cities better track emissions and work to mitigate them to reach their goals? How can cities across the world develop a single systematic approach to collecting and analyzing air quality data? That’s where IoT comes into play. Connected cities can deploy sensors across their entire geographic area, rather than use the current method of collecting air quality data from one or two points within their boundaries or periodically using cars or planes equipped with sensors to measure air quality at a point in time. By deploying sensors across an entire city, city officials can continuously monitor air quality, locate problem areas, identify trends, and prioritise cleanup efforts. Today, IoT devices are less expensive than ever and easier to install. Cities will be able to easily mount them in different locations and elevations. This will increase the fidelity of data collected and allow cities to accurately report greenhouse gas emissions, while being more efficient in taking remedial steps to reduce them. One city that’s leading the way is Leeds in the U.K. Leeds is combining air quality sensing with geofencing on hybrid electric vehicles. When the vehicle enters an area where poor air quality is detected, the vehicle will automatically switch from combustion to electric power to eliminate extra emissions.

Connectivity will be a vital element in the pursuit of cleaner air and better health outcomes. HVAC and smart buildings When it comes to connected cities, what’s happening inside the buildings is just as important as what’s happening outside. Today, buildings themselves have IoTenabled connectivity built into several systems, particularly HVAC. Just like with air quality and transportation, IoT makes HVAC cleaner. This is crucial, because several trends are converging that will cause a higher demand for HVAC. •

Energy efficiency. Commercial buildings alone consume 35 per cent of electricity in the U.S. To meet energy efficiency standards, building systems will need to cut down on HVAC energy use. Rising demand. AC usage rates are rising across the country as global temperatures rise. Cities that used to have low HVAC utilisation rates are seeing record high temperatures, so demand for AC in residential and commercial buildings is set to rise.

IoT-enhanced HVAC is crucial for successful HVAC in modern buildings. Managing energy consumption, prolonging the lifespan of building systems, and personalising HVAC for each build is within reach due to IoT’s reach into this area. Managing energy consumption is a requirement for any building to be considered ‘smart’. Consider all of the times you’ve noticed that the air conditioning is blasting even though the office is cold. Embedded sensors in AC units can give building owners and system manufacturers insight into energy use patterns, and

automatically adjust temperatures to ensure excessive usage isn’t a constant. Sensors that can detect abnormal temperatures, excessive vibration, lower pressure, air pollutants and other variables can also alert system owners and manufacturers that a breakdown is about to occur. This enables preventative maintenance, which allows repairs to be made before unplanned downtime occurs. It also prolongs the lifespan of the system, making the overall installation more sustainable. Lastly, smart HVAC systems can improve the quality of life for any building’s occupants. Remote control systems make it easy to tailor heating and cooling to the building owner’s needs. They can also be used to detect poor air quality and improve ventilation.

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The quality of urban life depends on the efficiency, safety, and sustainability of transportation. By reducing emissions and providing transportation data that cities can use to make smarter infrastructure decisions, IoT-connected vehicles can be a decisive force in the quest for connected cities.

IoT - The backbone of smart cities IoT is the foundation of connected cities, and as more infrastructure comes online, city leaders will have unprecedented access to data that can help them attain key goals around safety, sustainability, and access. Cities have been getting “smart” in a piecemeal fashion for the last decade or so. They must continue to innovate, create cohesive IoT strategies across different systems, and find ways to make data-driven decisions about critical infrastructure. The barriers to entry for IoT have never been lower thanks to advancements in connectivity, hardware, and software. Integrated IoT solutions like Particle have made it easier and more cost-effective than ever to add connectivity to nearly any device or system. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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The smart choice for street lighting Telensa provides smart street lighting solutions helping cities, utilities and local government organisations around the world to reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions that the UK is the world’s leading adopter of smart street lighting. Smart street lighting literally saves taxpayers £millions at the same time as reducing carbon emissions equivalent to taking thousands of cars off the road. The past decade has seen UK street lighting become amongst the most advanced and efficient in the world. This is evidenced by vast improvements in the quality of the lighting service experienced by the public, by a dramatic 28 per cent reduction in the amount of electricity consumed and a corresponding reduction in carbon emissions. Nearly two in seven streetlights in the UK are smart in that they are wirelessly connected to a Central Management System (CMS). Telensa sets out the benefits seen by those local authorities who have decided to go down this route. Smart streetlights go mainstream 40 local authorities in the UK use Telensa’s smart streetlight solution. It operates on over one million of the UK’s seven million streetlights. These authorities now have the capability to manage their lights in the most optimal way, implementing policies that reduce electricity consumption significantly and provide benefits for their residents. Smart streetlighting makes use of a CMS - used to wirelessly control streetlights individually, or as specified groups, via an online dashboard. This software-based platform works as part of end-to-end streetlight control system typically consisting of a wireless network and control nodes fitted to each streetlight. With streetlights being the largest contributor to UK council electricity bills, it is not surprising

Rising energy costs According to the Chartered Institute of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) and the UK Roads Liaison Group (UKRLG) there are considerable benefits to be had if the UK street lighting estate is fully converted to energy efficient LED. In a recent report, they cite that an ongoing investment of £755 million could generate £6.8 billion of electricity cost savings and five million tonnes of CO2 emission savings over the next 25 years. That’s before the addition of controls which could add a further 20 per cent of energy savings into the mix and significantly lower emissions. A decade of rising energy costs sharpens the business case even further, as highlighted by the Department for Business & Industrial Strategy which expects annual street lighting electricity costs to rise to £379 million by 2030 assuming no further streetlights are converted to LED. ‘Legacy’ streetlights are expensive to maintain and operate and come with sizeable carbon footprints. So, the burning question that perhaps should be asked is why are so many citizens missing out on the superior service and value for money provided by a CMS system. The smart business case The payback is clear. Leicestershire County Council (LCC) adopted a CMS in 2016. They report annual energy consumption savings of 55 per cent between 2017-2020 from 20.8 million kWh to 9.2 million kWh.

The council’s annual CO2 emissions fell by 73 per cent from 9,283T in 2016/17 to 2,536T in 2019/20. The carbon saving of 6,747 tonnes is the equivalent of taking 1,458 cars off the road for one year. At today’s energy rates, the switch to LED lights has produced an annual saving of around £1.7 million per annum. LCC states the lighting scheme is a key part of its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. Other early adopters, including Essex, Suffolk, Sheffield and Hertfordshire, all point to similar savings, with payback periods of under five years. Serving the public Whilst strong financial benefits are important, it may well be the qualitative benefits that make a CMS indispensable in the longer term. Smart streetlights help councils create vibrant spaces in which to live and work – and can be a springboard into a wider set of smart city solutions bringing even more benefits to the public. With a CMS, street lighting no longer needs to be an inflexible ‘one-size-fits-all’ service. Customised lighting policies might target high-crime areas or support mass participation events to help keep citizens safe and localised lighting might be used to overcome light pollution perhaps in certain residential areas. The improved diagnostics and automatic alerts offered by a CMS make councils more responsive which pleases residents and leads to fewer complaints. So a CMS results in a series of qualitative benefits in the form of lower crime, nicer neighbourhoods and obvious value-formoney from a council demonstrably working on behalf of its residents. Public service is often about winning hearts and minds. A smart streetlight system helps councils to work collaboratively with their communities to develop and enact their local plan. L FURTHER INFORMATION




How lighting will drive Edinburgh’s net zero ambitions Edinburgh has a vision to become one of the world’s smartest capital cities. In this article we look the role of upgrading LED street lighting in becoming smarter and lowering emissions Edinburgh has an ambitious target to become a net zero city by 2030. This means that any greenhouse gas emissions put into the atmosphere are balanced out by those removed, producing a ‘net’ effect of zero. And it is well underway to reaching that goal. Recently, Edinburgh officially launched its ambitious target to become a Million Tree City by 2030 as part of its commitment to be net zero by the end of the decade. Edinburgh already outstrips other Scottish cities by having more trees per head of population - there are currently more than 730,000 urban trees, compared to around 519,000 residents. The move to increase the number of trees in the city will help Edinburgh lessen the impacts of climate change by providing cooling in heatwaves, surface water management for heavy rainfall as well as some carbon storage and a home for wildlife. Less noticeably, behind the scenes, Edinburgh is also a year into pursuing the council’s Digital

boost. Building on the five-year relationship and Smart City Strategy, which was approved in the council has established with the global ICT October 2020. The strategy sets out principles services provider, councillors at City for how the council’s future technology of Edinburgh Council agreed services should be designed, that the contract with CGI is sourced and delivered over The Cit to be extended until 2029 the next three years, with y of Edin (running from 2023). particular attention to burgh Counci Providing stability incorporating a fresh for the council’s approach for using announ l has ICT services, the data and cloud-based greenh ced that extension will save technology to connect ouse ga emissio s a further £12 million systems in the digital and help the authority age, to provide even continu ns have look further ahead to more accessible, secure for the ed to fall the future. It will see and efficient services sixth ye CGI working with the for residents. a r r unning council on further digital Last year the City of transformation of services Edinburgh Council announced and continuing to be the an agreement with CGI that would council’s primary ICT provider for provide Edinburgh’s vision to become one the next nine years. E of the world’s smartest capital cities a major SMART CITY BUSINESS | DECEMBER 2021


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Dark Skies or Safer Streets – Are we taking a holistic approach? Clare Thomas explores how technology can help support a more holistic approach and how we can deliver engaging places and spaces that people love to be in

It’s clear that the lighting industry should take a lead in providing solutions that both respect the environment and protect our dark skies, but how do we balance this with the differing requirements of the people who use those spaces? Do we focus too much on the numbers and compliance, and does this result in spaces that are not inclusive by design? And how can we deliver engaging places and spaces that people love to be in? Clare Thomas, our head of Applications and Solutions for Logic has explored this in depth and written her first white paper on the subject. This paper explores how technology can help support a more holistic approach. Key considerations Clare first focused on the current key considerations when providing lighting for public spaces, namely compliance/standards, energy usage, ecological issues, making streets safer and technology. She then explored each topic in more detail. Compliance/Standards Guidance for outdoor lighting in the public realm is typically provided within two standards: BS EN 13201 Road Lighting, and BS 5489-1 Design of Road Lighting. Whilst there is great guidance given across both sets of documents, we tend to only focus on the requirement tables that describe minimum performance. Energy usage So, with climate emergencies having been declared by many local authorities in the UK,

there is a clear focus to try to reduce carbon emissions, and street lighting accounts for a significant proportion of these. However, where public funding is made available for these schemes (e.g., SALIX), tenders are structured to favour those who can work the numbers most effectively – the lowest energy consumed to deliver the level as close to the required class using the lowest capital cost. Ecology There is a growing awareness of negative impact of light pollution and of poor-quality lighting installations on both people and the wider ecosystem, particularly on insects and protected mammals such as bats. There is legislation and standards to support this, and an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has been set up to look at this topic, and whilst we clearly need to ensure that schemes that we’re providing minimise impact of light pollution and obtrusive light, does this mean that we disregard the people we’re actually providing light for? Safety Especially during the winter months, lighting is really an essential service. Not only does it facilitate the safe movement of people, but good quality lighting, together with other environmental and behavioural considerations also contributes to a feeling of safety. With cases like Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa being in the news, this is a key subject for many local authorities and funding has been made available through the Safer Streets Fund made available by the UK Government. The Safer Streets Fund takes a holistic view of the space and supports other interventions such as CCTV, physical security and intruder alarms but also recommends good lighting to distribute an appropriate amount and quality

of light. But Clare asks the question: is it just about higher illumination levels or do we also need to consider how the space is lit? Clare thinks we need to have a holistic approach. “One of the things I’ve seen is a publication called​Get Home Safe – Safe by Design by Women for Women published April 21, by Women transport planners. It’s a fantastic document that looks a journey through the first and last ‘mile’ from a woman’s perspective. What’s great is that it describes a woman’s journey home from an evening shift working in a hospital, and how she approaches the journey.” It really resonated with Clare, as she recognised a lot of the topics covered. Technology Finally, she mentioned technology. Working in a technical industry Clare recognised that often the industry looks for a technical solution and looking for a technical answer that meets only one or two of the considerations does not mean that it is a good solution. Conclusion Clare believes that part of the issue is that lighting is usually treated as a separate entity or function within the local authority, rather than a service that supports other things. For example, you need good lighting to support your active mobility strategy, but they’re often separated. Fundamentally there is no right or wrong answer, no ‘one size fits all’ approach, whether standards, contracts, or technology, and certainly the last couple of years has taught us that change is inevitable, so maybe we need to think a little differently to find balance. Good design and a collaborative approach mean you can use technology to help deliver long term, flexible and sustainable solutions that deliver value to both you and the community using them. Basically, it’s about creating spaces and places people love to live in. Get in touch with Urbis Schréder today and find out more. L FURTHER INFORMATION




 Cammy Day is not only Depute Council Leader but also the City of Edinburgh Council’s Smart Cities lead. On the agreement, he said that the partnership will ‘support our plans for lowering carbon emissions and lowering costs by using smart technology’. This will be evident in the ongoing response to assessing and tackling the needs of a post-Covid capital city by driving forward digital transformation, as well as establishing a smart city operations centre to deliver transformative digital services using the likes of AI, the ‘Internet of Things’ and Advanced Analytics. The council also detailed how the agreement will see the organisation push forward ‘smart city’ systems such as intelligent traffic signals, smart streetlights that can control their own luminosity, street bins that can signal when they’re full and smart sensors in council homes to predict, manage and prevent damage to properties such as damp. LED lighting Part of the reason that smart city technologies are often met with caution by the public, and indeed local authorities, is because they either sound too futuristic, and therefore unrealistic, or too expensive, and therefore unwarranted. It can be daunting to picture a town centre with a new smart traffic management system, or a local health system that puts the responsibility of monitoring patients into technology that is used daily at home. However, one area that is deemed neither too far down the line nor likely to break the bank is lighting infrastructure. For many years now, local authorities across the UK have been increasingly using LED lights for their environmental and budgetary benefits. Since 2000, LED lights have become ten times more efficient and can boast far longer lifespans than even the most advanced fluorescent lights. Combined with other measures to boost efficiency, such as controls systems, LED solutions can represent a step-change in the efficiency of a building’s lighting – up to 80 per cent savings in some cases. The maths also looks good from

The new lanterns typically use 60 per cent less energy therefore they reduce our carbon footprint and light up immediately. The lanterns are also nearly 100 per cent recyclable and are ideal for Scotland’s climate as LEDs work better in cooler temperatures a lifetime perspective as well. A combination of a long life, energy efficiency and low maintenance costs are a great asset to facilities managers worried about the overall cost of a new technology. In this vein, they are also easy to integrate into existing energy management systems as they can easily be set to dim automatically or turn off altogether to reflect the number of people in a room, the time of day or the time of year. This applies on the scale of a single room, a whole building, a stretch of road or a whole town, and can save money without jeopardising safety because their efficiency actually increases when they are dimmed. This winter, The City of Edinburgh Council announced that greenhouse gas emissions have continued to fall for the sixth year running, predominantly helped by the upgrading of LED street lighting across the city, and a drop in fleet emissions. In total, council emissions have been cut by 11 per cent in the past financial year – supporting the council’s ambition of becoming a net zero organisation by 2030. The reduction is mainly thanks to a fall in electricity consumption, achieved through lighting or other energy efficiency upgrades, property closures during the pandemic and greening of the electricity grid. The City of Edinburgh Council said that the upgrade in LED street lighting across the city also contributed to a third of the drop in overall electricity use. The authority restarted its LED street lighting programme in June 2020.

The new lanterns are better for the environment as they typically use 60 per cent less energy therefore they reduce our carbon footprint and light up immediately. The lanterns are also nearly 100 per cent recyclable and are ideal for Scotland’s climate as LEDs work better in cooler temperatures. Furthermore, the new lanterns are cheaper to run and maintain as they last up to five times longer than existing lanterns and they shine for over 100,000 hours, 25 years. The council will avoid £54 million of energy, maintenance and disposal cost over 20 years. The City of Edinburgh Council currently spends over £3 million every year on street lighting energy bill. In 2020-21, emissions from buildings made up 66 per cent of the councils carbon footprint. Meanwhile, emissions from waste totalled nine per cent, fleet 10 per cent, business travel one per cent and other energy consumption, such as street and stair lighting, alarms and traffic signals made up 14 per cent. Upgrading street lights to be more energy efficient means they are better for the environment, are cheaper to run, give off a clearer light and can make streets feel safer. This is because there is less glare and dazzle and they light up streets more evenly, as well as easier to see colours, making it safer for people driving, walking and cycling. The clearer light also improves the quality of CCTV images. L FURTHER INFORMATION




How smart cities can deliver local efficiencies and support climate action Businesses are now digitising fast and investing in low carbon infrastructure. Local authorities have a big role to play in this transition, writes Teodora Kaneva, head of Smart Infrastructure and Systems at techUK ‘Smart Cities’ is a phrase we hear almost on daily basis now. But what it really means is very different for industries and people. With a global urbanisation wave, the best way of explaining this trend is to re-imagine what a city is, how it is being designed, retrofitted, and managed. At techUK, we are looking at the building blocks of what makes a smart city, to develop, deploy, and promote sustainable development practices to address growing urbanisation challenges. Technology is prevalent in addressing many of those challenges, when it is deployed sustainably. Intelligent infrastructure allows us to capture new insights for more informed decision making, more efficient and decarbonised systems, and opens the opportunity for new business models. Mitigating climate change commitments The UK is in a strong position to tackle urban challenges. Government leadership has been somewhat positive it this area the launch of the new industrial decarbonisation strategies for infrastructure (such as energy, transport, water) was a positive step in the right direction. Digital now sits at the core of the industrial transition in the road to decarbonisation. Prior to COP26, the Prime Minister pledged to source 100 per cent of the UK’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. More announcements were made at COP26 on, for example, but not limited to, the phasing out of coal, carbon market breakthrough, climate adaptation and climate finance, and DfT sustainability strategy.


urban challenges and create meaningful System of Systems and affordable services for citizens. To be able to deliver on our national targets, Transport companies are also becoming industries must change the way they technology businesses, building their operate. Cooperation and collaboration have own innovation inhouse, with software a very different and much more significant and hardware solutions for transport meaning now. We are seeing a huge planning and mechanisms to decarbonise. transition towards digital, with companies Businesses are now digitising fast and like Shell and British Petroleum transitioning investing in low carbon infrastructure. to becoming a clean technology businesses. Meaningful insights with data Energy suppliers are becoming analytics, AI, machine learning, tech businesses and creating and digital twins are being partnerships with car Tech an utilised to address efficiency manufacturers or innovat d challenges and make consumer device better decisions. manufacturers. help to ion can Business models cities ac wns and Local are changing ‘build bross Britain to development rapidly and within a Local authorities those partnerships and un ck greener’ l have a big role to we are seeing that e a s h the power play in this transition. it takes a lot more o fd National issues such as industries working and da igital climate change operate together to address ta cross-council boundaries, and there is a concerted effort to work collaboratively. Better communication between authorities is needed. Setting a digital strategy and transitioning to a datadriven model could help with efficiency within local authorities. Data analytics and closer collaboration with DNOs/ DSOs could scale the type of opportunities for low carbon and renewable energy generation with existing and potential areas of energy usage, providing a real change for citizens. Gathering data on managing flood risk and drought resilience, where coasts and river catchments do not follow council boundaries, could improve management of those assets. Using digital twins could also replicate those



assets and create a digital map, which could provide different case scenarios for environmental or geospatial awareness. Working together on climate change issues will also provide opportunities for councils to develop and share data, evidence, and expertise. Spatial planning and land use planning could be delivered digitally using technology and data analytics. Digital ticketing, maintenance, and planning could improve Interoperability and transport services between regions. Of course, there are a lot of barriers that need to be considered. Funding and resource constraints for local authorities is a huge hurdle. Investment within public services, health and social care are prioritised. There is also a lack of digital skills and resourcing efficiencies that need to be addressed in terms of recruitment and creating innovation planning and scalability. There is a significant lack of data and digital infrastructure. Legacy technologies are still being used and procurement of new digital tech is a large upfront investment. Another barrier is lack of collaboration and engagement with Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) on energy planning and grid connection. There is a fragmentation piece that also needs to be addressed in the way local authorities work with the private sector. Local authorities have a huge responsibility to ensure that communities are served well and are provided with a healthy infrastructure, and affordable local services. The power of the digital transition is real. Local authorities must seriously address automation and design their own digital strategies - to make sure that their services are delivered and ultimately, their businesses are run affordably and efficiently.

The power of the digital transition is real. Local authorities must seriously address automation and design their own digital strategies - to make sure that their services are delivered and ultimately, their businesses are run affordably and efficiently Commercialisation and leveraging digital technology are key to finding new revenue growth and bridging the funding gaps that are starting to cripple delivery of public services. Digital technology As a representative of the tech sector, our first priority is to look inward and avoid creating more emission impacts or affecting human rights issues. Tech has rightly faced scrutiny given that we contribute two-three per cent of global emissions, so we must put our own house in order and we at techUK and our members are very focused on that. On a positive note, currently 40 per cent of the sector has signed up to the Race to Zero globally. We can see already that tech can help make the difference in all sectors, and the report we have published together with Deloitte has identified that digital technologies already in the field could deliver a 15 per cent increase in UK carbon emissions abatement by 2030 whilst adding £13.7 billion Gross Value Added to the UK. Tech and innovation can help towns and cities across Britain to ‘build back greener’ and unleash the power of digital and data. Connectivity and cyber resilience do take centre stage in delivering the digital infrastructure.

Intelligent Automation has the ability to transform our society, bringing in new productive technologies and allowing our people to focus on the strategic issues that really matter. However, it can only do this, if the embrace of Intelligent Automation is done in a safe and secure manner, protecting data and intellectual property, and ensuring that we have mitigated routes to attack. Cyber security is an area that the UK is taking extremely seriously. The tech sector is working closely with government to ensure that smart/intelligent digital devices are designed with the necessary security by conception, to protect consumer privacy. Data strategies within infrastructure sectors are working together with consumer advisory bodies to create a sustainable framework for data accessibility and privacy. L

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UK’s largest smart city energy regeneration scheme reaches halfway point The PIRI project - the UK’s largest smart city energy regeneration scheme - has reached its halfway point. Here, we take a look at what the scheme entails and where the programme goes next As part of the government’s Net Zero Strategy, an extra £500 million will go towards innovation projects to develop the ‘green technologies of the future’, bringing the total funding for net zero research and innovation to at least £1.5 billion. The government says that this will support the most pioneering ideas and technologies to decarbonise our homes, industries, land and power. The policies and spending brought forward in the Net Zero Strategy mean that since the Ten Point Plan, the government has mobilised £26 billion of government capital investment for the green industrial revolution. More than £5.8 billion of foreign investment in green projects has also been secured since the launch of the Ten Point Plan, along with at least 56,000 jobs in the UK’s clean industries – and another 18 deals have been set out at the Global Investment Summit to support growth in vital sectors such as wind and hydrogen energy, sustainable homes and carbon capture and storage. Through energy efficiency and the falling costs of renewables, the measures in the strategy also mean people’s energy bills


will be integral to achieving this will be lower by 2024 than if no action transformation and to the UK leading the was taken particularly as gas prices rise. world in areas of existing and potential Both the Net Zero and Heat and Building competitive advantage. To respond, Strategies build on the Prime Minister’s government must enable the efficient Ten Point Plan from November 2020, which scaling of technologies, systems, and laid the foundations for a green industrial business models to pull them through revolution, kick-starting billions of pounds of to commercialisation for investment in new and green industries 2050 - and beyond. to help level up. To date, the UK Innovation can significantly has decarbonised faster than Accord reduce costs of any other G7 country. ing the technologies, to the Innovation to processes, and g o vernme reach net zero systems needed nt’s Net Zer According to the to reach net zero. o S trategy, ‘innova Net Zero Strategy, This goes beyond t ‘innovation is central just developing to our aion is central to our approach to technologies. It also pproac delivering net zero’. In means exploring deliveri h to n g the accompanying report new business net zero ministers argue that it will models, approaches ’ ‘require a step change in the to financing, the rate of new technologies and regulatory environment processes being developed and and how consumers deployed into the market and being respond. Taking a whole systems approach to innovation will be adopted by businesses and consumers’. integral to maintaining and developing Continued investment in cutting-edge the UK’s global leadership in areas where research, development, and demonstration,


PIRI Plans for Peterborough, one of the UK’s fastest growing cities, to adopt a smart energy system reached their halfway point in October 2021. The Mayor of Peterborough, Stephen Lane, and Peterborough City Council leader, Wayne Fitzgerald, were among the local leaders who celebrated the milestone at an event to welcome an electric double-decker bus into the city on its national clean energy tour of the UK in the run up to COP26, which took place in Glasgow at the start of November. The Peterborough Integrated Renewables Infrastructure project (PIRI) estimates it will cut 80-90 per cent of CO2 emissions over 40 years whilst reducing energy bills by up to a quarter by 2030. It was one of five to win funding to create a pipeline of innovative and investable local energy system designs that will be ready to roll out across the UK in the 2020s.

PIRI is the largest smart city energy regeneration scheme in the UK, aiming to deliver a significant drop in CO2 emissions by 2030. Results from a study into the feasibility of the ambitious plans has identified 80GWh of annual electricity needs and 25GWh of heat demand that can be connected to a low carbon power network by 2030. Unlike other large-scale energy projects, PIRI is planning to embed thermal and electric storage and flexibility into the initial design. This means it will be possible to mix and match available supply to demand across heating, electricity and transport, rather than keeping complex energy requirements in silos. By taking this agile, integrated approach, it will be easier to incorporate new renewable energy resources as they become viable in future years. This will allow the city to respond to changes in demand such as a rapid uptake of electric vehicles and growing population. It is envisaged to be especially effective in areas where the electricity network is constrained; as well serving as a blueprint for other urban locations across the UK. PIRI is being led by Peterborough City Council, working with partners that include SSE Energy Solutions, Element Energy, Cranfield University, Smarter Grid Solutions and Sweco UK. The two-year project has been granted funding from UK Research and Innovation, alongside corporate investment to design a low carbon, smart energy system for the city. The project will deliver cleaner, cheaper energy and the benefits of the scheme include: locally produced, cleaner energy and heat from waste and with services being low carbon driven; multi-utility infrastructure delivery, meaning lower costs and lower bills for consumers; integrated billing and service for heat, electricity and mobility (such as electric vehicle charging) so customers can benefit; low carbon technology made available at cost-effective connection cost;

and transparent tariff setting will generate long-term savings for local authorities.


we have, or can develop, an international comparative advantage or unique capability. One such innovation is a trailblazing hydrogen storage project near Glasgow, backed by nearly £10 million in UK government funding. The Whitelee green hydrogen project is being developed into the UK’s largest electrolyser, a system which converts water into hydrogen gas as a way to store energy. It will be located alongside ScottishPower’s Whitelee Windfarm, the largest of its kind in the UK, and will produce and store hydrogen to supply local transport providers with zero-carbon fuel. Developed by ITM Power and BOC, in conjunction with ScottishPower’s Hydrogen division, the state-of-the-art facility will be able to produce enough green hydrogen per day – 2.5 to four tonnes – that, once stored, could provide the equivalent of enough zerocarbon fuel for 225 buses travelling to and from Glasgow and Edinburgh each day.

Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan Smart and flexible energy systems will be needed if the UK is to meet its world-leading commitments to tackle climate change by 2050. Meeting an increasing demand for electricity, as fossil fuels are phased out, will require a system which ensures the supply of clean energy from renewable sources is guaranteed even when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining. Published jointly by the government and Ofgem in July, the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan and Energy Digitalisation Strategy deliver on the commitments made by the government in the Energy White Paper and represents a significant step forward on the path to providing flexibility for the UK’s energy network. Unleashing the full potential of smart systems and flexibility in our energy sector could reduce the costs of managing the system by up to £10 billion a year by 2050, as well as generate up to 10,000 jobs for system installers, electricians, data scientists and engineers. In the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan, the government and Ofgem are driving forward plans for innovative new systems that could allow electricity generated by clean renewable sources to be stored at large scale and over longer periods, so it is ready to meet the challenges of energy system decarbonisation. Such technologies include pumped hydro storage, compressed air energy storage and the conversion of power to hydrogen so it can be used to generate electricity. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Pictured: Adrian Felton SWARCO, Philip Longhurst Cranfield University, Pathan Ayub SSE, Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald, David Brend SSE Energy Solutions, Claire Evans Peterborough City Council , Elliot Smith Peterborough City Council. Credit Daniel Ashfield



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A governance roadmap for digital technologies Governing Smart Cities provides a benchmark for cities looking to establish policies for ethical and responsible governance of their smart city programmes Published in July by the World Economic Forum, However, less than half of cities have policies in in collaboration with Deloitte, the Governing place to embed basic accessibility requirements Smart Cities report explores current practices into their procurement of ICT, and less than half relating to five foundational policies: ICT of cities provided evidence that they implement accessibility, privacy impact assessment, these requirements in practice. cyber accountability, digital infrastructure and The pandemic has been defined by open data. homeworking and remote education. But The findings are based on surveys and many cities lack the digital infrastructure interviews with policy experts and city needed to support or sustain this shift. The government officials from the alliance’s importance of connectivity has been made 36 ‘Pioneer Cities’. clear. Among the Pioneer Cities, less than half As highlighted in the paper’s foreword, the have a ‘Dig Once’ policy in place to ensure ongoing global pandemic has underscored the that digital infrastructure is installed during importance of resilience in societies across the street excavations and construction works. This world, with cities and those governing them would accelerate the roll-out of connectivity using data and tools to get real-time intelligence infrastructure and reduce and make targeted interventions to save disruption. Moreover, less lives. However, in developed nations than one-third of cities Govern where this came more naturally, have the governance Smart C ing the pandemic also highlighted processes needed to policy and governance concerns, drive connectivity argues ities that cit primarily around how data is roll-out through a leaders y n secured, how people’s privacy Dig Once policy. e e d to longeris protected, how inclusion is The report term vi take a ew and ensured, and how different also states identify govern agencies and organisations that open data gaps be ance can share data quickly. policy is perhaps become fore they Analysing the state of the only area in materia technology governance in cities, which most cities l risks the World Economic Forum report in the sample have tracks the efforts of the G20 Global achieved a level of basic Smart Cities Alliance, which seeks to implementation. However, advance the responsible and ethical use of even here, only 15 per cent of the smart city technologies. Using model policies Pioneer Cities have integrated their open data developed by global experts as a framework, the portals with their wider city data infrastructure, analysis in this report reveals serious gaps across which is a necessary step towards making a city cities of all sizes, in all geographies and at all ‘open by default’. levels of economic development. Governing Smart Cities argues that city leaders Among the Pioneer Cities, which include need to take a longer-term view and identify Belfast, Leeds and London, it was found that governance gaps before they become material the pandemic has rapidly accelerated digital risks. Government officials and policy-makers transformation and the adoption of city services, can use benchmarks, such as the model policies which makes the accessibility of digital city offered by the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance, services a vital component of an inclusive city. to identify and address these gaps.

A new policy roadmap The roadmap is organised around five core principles which embody fundamental requirements that all smart cities should meet, regardless of their strategic objectives. For example, a city may invest in smart lighting to reduce its carbon footprint and meet the strategic objective of environmental sustainability. However, it must ensure that there is sufficient security and resilience in the smart lighting so that the streetlights stay on when they are needed. The five core principles of the roadmap are: equity, inclusivity and social impact; security and resilience; privacy and transparency; openness and interoperability; and operational and financial stability. Equity, inclusivity and social impact has a model policy of ICT accessibility in public procurement. This means building accessibility standards into procurement to ensure digitalrelated services are accessible to those with disabilities. The model policy for privacy and transparency is the privacy impact assessment, which involves defining processes to assess privacy implications of new urban technology deployments. Accountability in cyber security will involve defining key accountability measures to be taken in order to protect the assets of cities and their citizens. Under operational and financial stability, the Dig Once for digital infrastructure encompasses the setting out of planning policies that improve coordination among city stakeholders and reduce the cost and complexity of digital infrastructure roll-out. Lastly, the open data model policy simply promotes developing a model policy for open data strategy in a city. L FURTHER INFORMATION



Find out how we can support your vision for connected, safe and sustainable places that people love to be in.

Agnostic Approach | Connected Design | Adaptive Lighting | Field Services | Logic Bureau Get in touch with us to find out more at

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How technology brings us closer to a greener planet The path to clean city air: Can smart cities help contribute to a better, cleaner environment? Sascha Giese explores Densely populated cities are growing As the world quickly moved to lockdown rapidly in number, with the UN predicting to combat the deadly Covid-19, scientists 68 per cent of the world’s population will around the globe saw the immense impact live in urban areas by 2050. But alongside this had on the health of our planet. The this progression comes a rapid decline in pandemic resulted in a seven per cent the quality of our natural environment, so drop in global carbon emissions, a trend action must be taken. Urban living requires not seen ‘since World War II’. Though these city planners to have more insight into the have been exceptional circumstances—the factors contributing to a poor environment, likes of which we hope to put behind and they must know what’s us—they do offer a real-world changing about their local benchmark and increase environment, where the risks the urgency behind more Today’s and dangers lie, and what permanent methods smart c steps they can take to of environmental ities rel on th mitigate them. improvement. y

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Smart cities: Where tech supports everyday life Today’s smart cities rely on the connections between networks, which are comprised of fixed and mobile remote sensors. These sensors constantly record and share data and help authorities make smart decisions every day. This data is used for a wide variety of environmental purposes, including identifying underlying patterns and trends across the city ecosystem. Sensors can, for example, monitor the movement of traffic, where real-time information about the number and location of vehicles can help authorities make accurate predictions about key things E




Places that Work Functional, well maintained environments creating the trust to safely return to work.

 such as air quality and make changes to improve this where possible. Support for this is growing—in London, Mayor Sadiq Khan recently announced an air quality monitoring investment of almost £1.5 million to fund 195 sensors designed to generate real-time data. This will be shared publicly via the Breathe London website so citizens of the city can understand more about the health of their environment. With the insights this real-time data supplies, local authorities can take proactive steps to maintain—and hopefully improve—air quality. For example, public transport such as buses can be switched to an all-electric mode when they enter areas of higher pollution. Some cities are already using data in public information messages to encourage people in vehicles or on foot to find alternative routes when air quality decreases to avoid contributing to worsening air quality or breathing it in when walking. Use enterprise lessons to manage a city This is easier said than done, however. The huge amount of data sensors across smart cities produce—in addition to the complexity of the networks involved—make managing this entire system a monumental task. A highly connected smart city is comparable to a large enterprise—it generates large quantities of data needing to be stored and analysed. The data has the potential to become an extremely valuable asset, but the sheer level of complexity involved means artificial intelligence technologies are now essential tools for city administrators. They aid in the process of extracting and cross-referencing insights from the multiple data sets involved. Resolving these challenges is already generating huge levels of investment across

a range of business sectors and will become increasingly important as smart cities grow in scale. This isn’t the only way smart cities are like enterprises—administrators can apply the same expertise, tools, and processes to manage these requirements as their commercial counterparts. By prioritising realtime monitoring of network performance, security, and data privacy, they can keep smart cities connected, safe, and better able to deliver high-quality environmental performance to their citizens. As a final note, it’s crucial to remember with greater data volumes and complexity come greater compliance requirements. Businesses across every industry are increasingly aware of their regulatory obligations, and the impact of rules such as UK-GDPR means it’s usually the administrators who hold the responsibility for data integrity and protection. Admins for smart cities must not only secure the growing amounts of data but also ensure they and their third-party partners don’t misuse it. People are increasingly aware of the devastating impact humankind is having on our planet, and many governments are setting ambitious targets to prevent further damage and—where possible—reverse the damage already done. With the intelligence of smart cities—and investments like London’s air quality monitoring investment—these targets will become much more achievable. Technology advances every single day, and IT teams will continue to be highly desirable as smart cities develop to meet future needs. L

Sascha Giese is Head Geek™ at SolarWinds. FURTHER INFORMATION

Partnering to bridge FM’s digital divide

Facilities management

By prioritising real-time monitoring of network performance, security, and data privacy, they can keep smart cities connected, safe, and better able to deliver high-quality environmental performance to their citizens

Last year, the Institute of Facilities and Workplace Management collaborated with Microsoft on a new report in order to help the profession overcome the digital barrier and realise its considerable potential to impact workplace performance. The Bridging FM’s Digital Divide paper focuses on how to harness the digital knowledge and expertise of others through partnerships, using examples to explore what a digitally transformed profession might look like. The top three priorities for the facilities professional according to the report are: first, improve your knowledge and understanding of existing and emerging digital technologies and their benefits; second partner with digital technology companies to understand the art of the possible and identify solutions to real world problems; and third avoid being ‘done to’ by influencing the application of new digital tech with your workplace and facilities expertise, so you can ‘own’ the future. Chris Moriarty, IWFM’s director of Insight and Engagement, said: “The pace of technological change is increasing before our eyes, each time shaking up the way we work. The workplace and facilities profession needs to be anticipating and preparing for this inevitability and open to the opportunities as well as the threats it presents. “We’ve got to change FM’s mindset from one that sees technology as helping to do a job - such as managing the building - to redefining the job as one which helps everyone else do theirs - enabling communities. It is a shift that underpins our repositioning to IWFM.”




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Digital data and predictive road maintenance Smart Cities Business talks to Gaspar Anton, founder and CEO of EyeVi Technologies, a firm believer of the future benefits of digital data and predictive road maintenance analytics platforms Given the increase in smart city technology and the expected growth in intelligent transport systems post-pandemic, how central will smart traffic management systems be in the years to come? I’d compare the city planning operations (including traffic management) with the video game of SinCity. In this game, you can build up the city in whichever way you like, analyze how efficiently it operates, and then make the changes, where necessary to make it compatible with the future changes that the city growth brings. In real life, it’s not possible to build something and then make changes with ease. However, with the increase in such technology use that EyeVi is providing, it’ll be possible to do exactly that – to simulate any scenario in the virtual environment for analysing city growth and possible management choices with the purpose to pinpoint all the changes that’ll be needed to put in effect. And then select the best outcome scenario and start working towards it. Traffic simulation and changes are one of the key elements of the analyses. How can cities and urban areas use automotive IoT and traffic data to make critical decisions? Knowing the traffic flows is essential in deciding how to develop cities and urban areas. Citizens want to live in quiet areas, where traffic is limited, schools and kindergartens, and other institutions are

easily accessible while still being out of the main transit road network. What would be the optimal locations for shopping malls and entertainment centers so that these establishments would have maximum outreach and visibility? Analysing the traffic data and other sensors updates will give you the answer and help to make critical decisions in the next urban development planning. Earlier this year, EyeVI concluded its project with Barnet Council, resulting in 761 km worth of road data being analysed within 10 datasets and 2,654 areas of interest being detected. Can you tell us more about the collaboration and why it was a success? We partnered up with UK company XAIS Asset Management who was looking for a partner that could offer high-quality road defects detection services. The aim was to digitize the road network in Barnet, detect road defects using Artificial Intelligence (AI), and then calculate the costs of roads maintenance in the area. We ran the entire process automatically in the UK with zero manual corrections to the data – a substantial accomplishment. We delivered a significant result for Barnet – digitising all of the roads, automatically annotating road defects that belong to eight different categories, and calculating road maintenance costs. Anyone familiar with the field understands the scale and importance of this achievement.

How can traffic data ensure not only that traffic levels remain safe, but also that maintenance costs are kept low? One of the crucial aspects of road maintenance and construction is the traffic density that’s expected to run on this network. The more traffic density, the stronger the road structure must be so it would last decades. As the density changes over time, it must be taken into account when making maintenance plans. This means that for the sections, where traffic density decreases, you can change the maintenance plan to be more cost-efficient, and for the areas, with increased traffic density, you can direct extra resources to the budget for ensuring that necessary works are done for upholding the road structure. Analysing and understanding what part of the road structure needs improving is a very important add-on to road maintenance, and that’s what EyeVi’s solution provides. How does AI work in defect detection? As part of the CVI (Course Visual Inspection), the road pavement is visually analysed. One part of that data is road defects inspection – counting the lengths and areas of different distresses like cracking and potholes. For years this inspection has been done on-site by driving on the road and manually calculating the numbers together. This method is inefficient, slow, expensive, and even dangerous for other road users. With EyeVi’s solution, you can first drive through the road network, following normal speed limits and not disturbing other road users, and then use AI for detecting all necessary distresses. To get AI at the level of acceptable accuracy, we used 21,000 km of manually collected and digitised dataset to teach the algorithm to understand the patterns. And it works well. With AI we can now have much better accuracy in the data while decreeing time and costs needed to acquire the end results. An important aspect being that in analysing full network coverage, the AI has a similar level of accuracy everywhere while mistakes made by human annotators can differ considerably. However, an unvaried level of data accuracy is most important in analysing the full network at region or country level. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Managing complex transport networks effectively is critical to make any city smarter. Chris Barber, head of transport and infrastructure at Esri UK, examines how real-time dashboards are providing the fundamental location intelligence to keep people moving As our urban areas become busier and more connected, new ways of making sense of data are vital. This will not only help to meet today’s transport challenges, including how to get passengers back on public transport safely, but will be essential for when 5G takes off and autonomous vehicles become commonplace. One area where geospatial solutions are already delivering value is real-time dashboards, which have given a significant boost to how quickly operators can respond to incidents and congestion, as well as how effectively they can predict what might happen next. Previously, it was difficult to gain a single operational view across road, rail, bus and tram networks but dashboards are now dramatically improving the understanding of capacity, flow, incidents and demand across large areas of the UK. A real-time dashboard lies at the heart of Transport for West Midland’s operations centre, visualising and analysing a complex mix of data. At a time of unprecedented investment in the region and the Commonwealth Games coming up in 2022, it allows the team to make rapid interventions to minimise congestion and improve the journey experience, which in turn supports further growth of the local economy.

Combining live transport data from almost 20 public and private sector partners, including local authorities, rail, tram and bus operators, Network Rail and National Highways, the dashboard gives all stakeholders the same common operating picture. The resulting insight is invaluable, improving the understanding of behaviour across the network and allowing faster decisions to be made. With access to live information, users react quickly to unplanned incidents, improving the travel experience for West Midland’s 2.8 million residents. For example, guiding TfWM’s partners to re-phase traffic lights to alleviate congestion or issuing an alert to warn commuters about a cancelled train. Transport infrastructure in general is about to become even more intelligent with the widespread arrival of 5G, ushering in extensive IoT networks with new sensors, helping to drive AI and supporting a whole range of emerging modes of transport, including autonomous vehicles. This increasingly connected landscape will demand digital twins of mobility networks, providing operators with the insight to remain customer focused, safe and sustainable while keeping people moving. Find out how real-time operations are making transport safer by joining Esri UK’s webinar on 9 February 2021 by visiting the website below.

Register here: Contact:


Autonomous passenger shuttle service trialled in Oxfordshire A one-year trial funded by the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency will see an autonomous shuttle transport passengers around Harwell Science and Innovation Campus Science Minister George Freeman has using Hispasat’s satellite communication announced that the new service is being channels and O2’s 4G and 5G networks. trialled by Darwin Innovation Group, shuttling Autonomous vehicles offer the potential passengers around Oxfordshire’s Harwell to dramatically improve road safety and Science and Innovation Campus, which is revolutionise the UK’s mobility system. home to some of the UK’s most innovative However, as the technology within companies and research organisations. vehicles evolves and we draw closer to Created by Navya, the battery-powered having fully autonomous vehicles on our shuttle uses LiDAR sensors, cameras and roads, there will be new risks and vehicle ultrasound sensors to navigate safely around uses that insurers will have to assess any obstacles and a satellite (GNSS) antenna when underwriting these vehicles. for positioning. There is no steering wheel, In previous trials, autonomous vehicles have but it does have safety controls, which relied on terrestrial Wi-Fi to stay connected. will be managed by an on-board operator By making use of satellites in addition to throughout the trial. Darwin will maintain 4G and 5G, autonomous and monitor the service, tracking the vehicles can operate shuttle’s location and gathering even in rural or information about its operation remote areas that Autono as it travels. Telematics data may not yet will be transmitted from have complete vehicles mous o the shuttle in real time terrestrial f f e r t

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coverage. Freeman said as part of the announcement that ‘by unlocking the power of space and satellite technology, these new shuttles can stay connected all the time’. Similar Navya shuttles have been used in an urban setting in Switzerland and have safely transported tens of thousands of passengers. At Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, the shuttle has created new shuttle safety operators and shuttle mechanics jobs. The people working with the shuttle will be able to share their experience with technology colleges and help improve the available courses. The autonomous shuttle service operates at Harwell Science Campus during weekdays, morning to evening. It travels two routes, and there is no cost to ride the shuttle, which is currently available to campus pass-holders and registered guests of pass-holders. E





 Stuart Grant, chief executive at Harwell Science Campus, said: “At Harwell we’ve created a scale-up ecosystem that promotes collaboration, multidisciplinary innovation and the creation of smart technology. We’re delighted to be able to support campus-based Darwin with the launch and operation of this next-generation autonomous shuttle. The Harwell shuttle will transport over 6,000 employees around the campus, showcasing the future of travel and urban mobility.” The trial with Aviva builds on the October 2020 launch by O2 and Darwin Innovation Group of the Darwin SatCom Lab, the UK’s first commercial laboratory for 5G and satellite communications, situated at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. The laboratory enables companies like Aviva to explore next-generation connectivity solutions for connected and autonomous vehicles using both 5G and satellite communications. In addition to Darwin, Navya, ESA and UK Space Agency, a range of organisations have supported the new shuttle service. Mobile operator O2 and satellite operator Hispasat have aided Darwin in its research into connectivity, and the shuttle will make use of their networks as it travels around the campus. O2 also provides added investment to Darwin, as well as supporting with patent development. Harwell Science Campus and STFC are hosting the service, and AWS is providing storage for the data produced by the shuttle. The shuttle is insured by Aviva, who will use the trial and resulting data to better understand the evolving mobility market. With this information, Aviva will be able to create innovative insurance products to cater for this fast-changing market, including autonomous vehicles and associated technologies.

In previous trials, autonomous vehicles have relied on terrestrial Wi-Fi to stay connected. By making use of satellites in addition to 4G and 5G, autonomous vehicles can operate even in rural or remote areas that may not yet have complete terrestrial coverage Public readiness A CarGurus survey, undertaken during the summer, revealed that the public is still yet to be convinced of the prospect of fully autonomous vehicles. Respondents across the UK were evenly spilt when it came to their overall opinion about the development of self-driving cars, with 30 per cent considering themselves excited, 35 per cent neutral and 36 per cent concerned. There was also a 50-50 split in participants who felt the technology was still too new to place their faith in. The public’s mixed feelings toward automotive autonomy were decidedly less pronounced when the subject was broached in a more granular way, however. Despite just 22 per cent of those surveyed saying they would appreciate a car that does the driving for them, participants claimed to be very or extremely interested in cars with automated driving assistance features such as automatic emergency braking (43 per cent), lane keeping assist (36 per cent) and automatic parking (48 per cent). The safety benefits of such technology were also viewed with varying degrees of significance, depending on how the topic was approached. Just 29 per cent


of people reported being excited by selfdriving cars making travel safer, compared to 68 per cent of the same cohort who agreed that automated driver assistance features make travel by car safer. Passenger trials in Cambridge Cambridge is among the first smart cities in the UK to trial autonomous vehicles – investigating the feasibility of the technology being used as part of a public transport service in the future. Self-driving shuttles that are set to transform the way people travel took to the roads for ground-breaking passenger trials in Cambridge for the month of June 2021. The first Aurrigo autonomous shuttle arrived in Cambridge at the end of October 2020. In April 2021, the team were able to return to the site after lockdown and the first shuttle started its engineering trial – mapping a route from the Park & Ride around the University of Cambridge’s West Cambridge campus. A second shuttle arrived a month later in May and was joined by a third at the start of June when interested passengers were invited on board to take a trial journey on one of the vehicles. Among the first passengers to board the Aurrigo shuttle was Transport Minister Rachel Maclean.


A CarGurus survey, undertaken during the summer, revealed that the public is still yet to be convinced of the prospect of fully autonomous vehicles The trial is part of a government-funded project led by the Greater Cambridge Partnership, Smart Cambridge and engineering firm Aurrigo Driverless Technology to look at how autonomous technology could be used on the public transport network.

Read more from Dan Clarke, Strategy and Partnerships Manager for the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, on page 38. Self-navigated ‘Grand Drive’ In 2019, a government-backed autonomous vehicles project achieved its goal of sending a Nissan LEAF on a self-navigated ‘Grand Drive’. The journey was completed at the end of November 2019, and there were two test engineers on board, constantly monitoring the vehicle’s actions to deliver a safe autonomous journey. The Humandrive project, which featured a range of partners led by Nissan UK, created 27 jobs over the course of the project and a further 20 have been added since as the partners continue to work together on commercialising the technology. Nissan UK has since established an autonomous driving test facility at its R&D facility in Cranfield, with additional work and investment from Nissan Japan. Hitachi Europe has also set up an AV research operation in the UK while HORIBA MIRA has continued to evolve its test facilities at Nuneaton in Warwickshire. Cranfield and Leeds universities have expanded their AV research capabilities too.

The 100 per cent electric Nissan LEAFs used as the test vehicles featured GPS, radar, LIDAR (laser scanners) and camera technologies to build a perception of the world around it. The system then made decisions about how to navigate roads and obstacles encountered on a journey, directing the car to change lanes, merge with traffic and stop and start when necessary at roundabouts and traffic signals. Guiding principles The automotive industry has committed to a new set of guiding principles for marketing automated vehicles, which has been published by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Developed and agreed by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles’ AV-DRiVE Group, the principles provide an outline for responsible advertising and communication relating to automated vehicles and their capabilities. The initiative will ensure consumers receive consistent and clear information regarding automated driving features, ahead of their expected introduction to British roads in 2022. The guiding principles state that an automated driving feature must be described sufficiently clearly so as not to mislead, including setting out the circumstances in which that feature can function. An automated driving feature must be described sufficiently clearly so that it is distinguished from an assisted driving feature. Where both automated driving and assisted

driving features are described, they must be clearly distinguished from each other. An assisted driving feature should not be described in a way that could convey the impression that it is an automated driving feature. The name of an automated or assisted driving feature must not mislead by conveying that it is the other - ancillary words may be necessary to avoid confusion - for example for an assisted driving feature, by making it clear that the driver must be in control at all times. Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The UK is at the forefront of the introduction of automated vehicles, which has tremendous potential to save lives, improve mobility for all and drive economic growth. It is essential that this revolutionary technology is marketed accurately and responsibly, and we are delighted to have brought together industry, government and other key stakeholders to develop a series of guiding principles that will ensure consumers will have clarity and confidence over their capabilities from when these advanced vehicles first make their way into showrooms.” Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said: “Selfdriving vehicles have the potential to make journeys safer, greener and more accessible for all, which is why we want to make the UK the best place to trial, develop and deploy their technology, to ensure we are among the first to realise their benefits. It is essential that industry and stakeholders are clear on their responsibilities and developed in partnership with government, motoring and road safety groups, the SMMT’s Guiding Principles are an important step to promote the safe use of automated technologies in the UK.” L FURTHER INFORMATION



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G-Cloud: A way to deploy MaaS without the burden of a tender Instant System supports its customers with implementation of intelligent transportation systems and Mobility as a Service projects in ‘white label’

Since its creation in 2013, Instant System has developed and deployed Digital Solutions for Public Transport Authorities (PTAs) and Operators (PTOs) within more than 80 cities & regions and more recently for corporates and saw the evolution of its customers towards mobility-as-a-service also known as MaaS. The transportation ecosystem has been evolving for more than a decade. Legacy public transportation now shares the curb with other modes of mobility. This started with Uber in 2009, and is now followed by a range of services such as shared bikes or e-scooters with evolving business models to reach a wider market. All these services are accessible through dedicated mobile applications. This configuration makes it difficult for public authorities to keep the mobility offer balanced. This is where MaaS comes in. MaaS can simply be defined as a solution where all public and private mobilities on a territory are accessible and available to travelers with just one digital application to plan, book and pay without being redirected to another application. The first MaaS solutions emerged in Northern Europe and like most innovations, started private initiatives following a B2C business model in which the end user is the paying customer. The main idea that drove the first MaaS was to provide an alternative to private car ownership to reduce the congestion and pollution in our cities, using public transport as the backbone of the solution and shared mobility as a first & last mile to bring people to the right and closest mobility hubs. This is why coordinated efforts are needed between public and private actors to make MaaS work. However, a few years ago, most mobility service providers (MSPs) were not ready to be


fully integrated and allow through MaaS the use of ‘deeper’ services such as booking and payment. In 2016 an index was created to evaluate the schemes and the level of mobility integration of each MaaS: • • • • •

Level 0: No integration Level 1: Integration of information (Multimodal Journey planner and Traveler Information & prices) Level 2: Integration of booking and payment (find, book and pay) Level 3: Integration of services offered (bundling) Level 4: Integration of societal goals (policies, incentives etc.)

The development of these schemes made it possible for interested players and authorities to better envision a roadmap for the implementation of MaaS in their territories. Indeed, an evolution of MaaS is possible, from level 0 to 4, gradually. Mobility-as-a-Service and Public Transport Authorities and Operators Digitalisation of information and ticketing of public transport appeared rapidly to be a ‘must have’. Yet, the obligation for PTAs and PTOs to open-up their data, and very soon the access to their ticketing system, including fares, is a constraint for them. If MaaS is going to change the way people will move, it is important to understand mobility at the macro and micro level. Private MaaS operators also known as B2C operators, are promoting door-to-door between cities, pushing the idea of one app that could


be used everywhere by any travelling person. But most daily commutes are rarely from one territory to another. Most people do their daily travels only within their own cities: to go to work, to drop kids at school, to meet friends, to do their shopping, to go to the gym... The percentage of a population

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e-scooter, or public transportation easily and thus reducing the use of the private car for the total journeys/trips taken/planned. Beyond converting private car users, public transportation still needs to remain inclusive. Thus, different fares have been created to meet the characteristics of everyone, knowing that the condition of each one can change from one day to the next: a student who becomes a working adult, an adult who becomes a senior, a person who has become handicapped because of an accident, a family growing in numbers... Such fare complexity in a MaaS offer will definitely be handled by Public Transport first and may never be fully addressed by Private MaaS Operators. Nevertheless, MaaS should be in the long run a tool for any local authority to optimise and manage its network according to the demand, a network that can dynamically change along the day. We believe that each territory must have its own public MaaS to fulfill its mission of mobility for all in an inclusive way. This does not mean that a single public MaaS operator is only what is needed. Public and private MaaS can still work in harmony under a common data set managed by public authorities. At the end of the day, we still want end users to change the way they move, to choose the more sustainable way of commuting, and that can only be done through freedom of choice. Mobility-as-a-Service solution acquisition, Tender or G-Cloud? Each city/region can and should deploy a MaaS in the long run, but it’s important to take note of the complexities and time required to implement. Like any digital project, there are two choices to procuring a solution : Putting in place a Tender or purchasing a Crown

Commercial Service (CCS) pre-selected solution through its G-Cloud 12 Framework that helps customers in the UK public sector find and buy cloud computing services. For a big city or region with a very complex and specific project, it might be best to launch a tender to ensure a more bespoke choice. But a tender requires resources immediately, for both the authorities and the MaaS providers. An authority needs teams to help frame and write the specifications, a MaaS provider needs to deploy several experts to answer the tender. There is also the timeframe to consider. It can take months, if not a year, between the beginning and selection. If you are a medium or small city with a project to deploy the first steps of the MaaS, you should definitely consider a direct procurement using G-Cloud. Instant System was selected with two products with predefined prices to answer most of a city’s needs. This includes traveller information and a journey planner that can include several mobility modes, user account management and m-ticketing that is developed around small and medium sized cities. This is our MaaS step 1 offer. In a national procurement marketplace like G-Cloud, procurement is more accessible as internal costs covering the time and involvement of several experts (ticketing, journey planning, etc.) to answer a tender are removed from the final costs. It also makes it so finding, selecting, and deploying a MaaS is more efficient. We highly recommend looking into G-Cloud, both for a MaaS but also for every digital solution that you may need for your city/region/ territory. L

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who is regularly travelling beyond their city/ region is small. Thus, such localised mobility cannot be completely understood by any global Private MaaS player operating in many cities/regions or countries. Each area has its own transportation system, has its own transportation design, and transportation needs what a global actor cannot specifically adjust to. If the full implementation of MaaS may not be available that easily, a step-by-step evolution can be started at first, while keeping in mind that a fully integrated MaaS is the final objective. Unlike B2C operators, B2G2C (Business to government to customers) MaaS providers collaborate with public transport operators and authorities to develop local MaaS addressing the needs of a larger part of the local population. This is advantageous for small and mediumsized cities, including rural areas, as typically these cities have a single brand for each mode that operates. It is also not uncommon for shared mobility services to be managed by the city itself or by the local PTO, and in this case MaaS is seen as an extension of public transport. With that said, all that is left for a transport authority is finding the right fares, bundles, and intermodal combinations that will attract the most critical user: private car users. If we go deeper in the analysis of the potential final user, those owning a car are the ones living in suburbs who cannot live without a car. However, in real life, MaaS cannot replace the use of a private car without an efficient mobility offer. So how would an authority approach this? From our experience, the first step is to provide an intermodal journey planner including the private vehicle and promoting a park & ride bundle where one can switch to a bike,





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Trojan was formed by former oil and gas industry engineering executives who wanted to accelerate the energy transition and make sure everyone benefits from it. It’s the mission that drives everyone that’s joined the company since. Our first solution is a futureproofed electric vehicle charging system for the residential onstreet market that can take the form of a hub of 15 chargepoints powered directly from the local network, or a single point powered from domestic property. The chargepoints leaves no permanent street furniture being fitted flat and flush in the pavement, as close to the kerb as is allowed. They are accessed via a user’s ‘lance’ - a robust post that they insert and which is locked in place while charging. For the local authorities we serve, the challenges arising from the switch to EVs and the need for the associated public infrastructure are not insignificant. The biggest stem from EV infrastructure being an entirely new category of services with which to build familiarity and expertise: new outcomes such as extra electrical equipment in public spaces; new rules and

regulations in planning, assets, and liabilities; new approaches to existing services such as parking and road maintenance; new constituent propositions and relationships; digital services in both the front and back offices; and a multitude of reports and strategies to consider. It’s not simply a case of getting enough resources – those teams need the right organisation structure and focus to be able build deep expertise over time. One clear learning from the local authorities from across the UK that has led the way in this space is not so much the amount of resource, but the focus that resource can bring to bear. Success seems easier to achieve if even a small amount of resource, even a single officer in some cases, can spend a majority of time on EV infrastructure at the implementation level. Having a strategy formulated and communicated throughout the organisation is another strong pre-requisite. Alongside resourcing, procurement itself is another area where there is no easy answer. There are no market participants that can cover the full range of what might be needed: Rapid Hubs, roadside/car park posts/wallboxes, depots, residential on street, driveways, multiple charging speeds, smart charging, V2X etc. A unified strategy that tries to address everything at once leads either to the headache of multiple concurrent procurements or the headache of fewer procurements trying to synchronise more diverse requirements across consortia. Either

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Providing on street EV charging way, time is short with the 2030 deadline fast approaching and the strongest outcomes will require the strongest commitments - from the very top of the organisation, both executives and councillors. And if those commitments seem dauntingly big now, remember that the number of BEVs still has to increase between 50-100x to fill the final parc, depending on modal shift. Even more bad news comes in the form of early-market solutions reaching their limits in the short term. Traffic Regulation Orders are becoming ever more politically and financially costly. Using them is an approach that can’t keep pace with fast-accelerating EV uptake in our towns and cities, so thinking about how to deploy not just for current or even near-future demand, but the end game, has to start now. A roadmap focused on the horizon is a must – it’s much easier to work backwards from there than forwards from here. Trojan is positioned to have expertise in the technical requirements around all forms of charging, as well as people with longterm market experience across the value chain including that all important strategic development and attraction of incentive funding. But we’re not alone in that and while we believe our solutions are very powerful in what they do, they cover but a small part of what’s needed. Co-operation between councils, other public stakeholders, and all the organisations bringing innovation, quality and commitment to the problem, is vital. We all need to contribute collegiate approaches to make sure those propositions that together cover all requirements reach those places where they’ll each work better than something else. When that happens, drivers will get the all the confidence they need to make the switch. We appreciate the challenges within local authorities right now. Covid still looms large, and budgets are under pressure like never before. It’s so important to form partnerships well in advance of any sales activity that might ensue, so that the questions are worked over long before the answers are. It’s incumbent on the market to build capability in assisting councils in the actual job of work of getting the analysis done and then getting projects up and running. If the public resource requirement is kept to knowledge input, steering and approval, leaving the legwork to delivery partners, that might help the challenge feel a little less daunting. Trojan is proud to operate on this principle, building its own expertise to make it as easy as possible for our partners to focus on serving their constituents. L FURTHER INFORMATION




Safety First: Why safety and security must lead the Smart City conversation Iain Moran, director at ATG Access, discusses the myriad ways in which smart city solutions can improve the security of our towns and cities As we move deeper into the 21st century, human behaviour continues to evolve in line with the latest external factors to influence our experience of life, from climate change to technological innovation. Among the more notable behaviours is the mass migration towards urban environments. According to the United Nations, over half (55 per cent) of the global population now lives in urban areas – a figure projected to increase to 68 per cent by 2050. With more people than ever residing within large conurbations, at a time of great technological advancement, the concept of the ‘Smart City’ has gained traction. These hi-tech metropolises will incorporate technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), GPS tracking, and the Internet of Things (IoT) into their physical infrastructures to enhance public services, mitigate overcrowding, and improve overall quality of life. However, the benefits of an interconnected, tech-first urban area are all but negated if its residents cannot be kept safe. In this piece, we will explore the security aspect of


By creating cities that are capable of hosting a variety of community events throughout the year, such as marathons, bike races, Christmas markets and New Year’s Eve celebrations, we The life-saving potential can ensure that they remain of the smart barrier lively and prosperous, and The way we interact The can support a range of with our urban spaces benefit businesses in the long has been gradually s intercon of an term. However, each changing for some nected, tech-fir of these occupy urban time, with the decline spaces differently of the traditional high are all bst urban area and require different street. This change u t its resid negated if security measures. has undoubtedly ent Pedestrianisation is key been accelerated be kept s cannot when it comes to creating by the pandemic; the safe new multifunctional Housing, Communities spaces for people to gather and Local Government and socialise, and smart Committee was informed at a barriers have the ability to zone meeting earlier this year that the off different areas as required at different lockdown-induced shift towards online times throughout the year, while also retail will likely be permanent, so we must ensuring the safety of those in attendance. quickly move our attention away from Not only do impact-tested barriers retail and instead create urban centres protect crowds of people from threats that are leisure and experience-focused. smart cities, how solutions can be used to protect life, and why the safety of citizens must always be the primary concern.



such as vehicle as a weapon attacks – which have been on the rise in recent years – but they can intelligently create diversions to facilitate quick access for emergency vehicles if required. Protecting mental and physical safety with smart barriers Over the past 25 years, the number of cars in Britain has risen by 42.5 per cent. Today, there are almost 40 million licensed vehicles with the ratio of vehicle to person most keenly felt in high population areas. Heavy vehicular congestion around urban environments presents a specific risk in the event of a major incident but it also presents a more constant, underlying risk to human mental and physical health that can be mitigated with smart barriers. A recent study found that congestion in the UK has reached such levels that the average rush-hour commuter spends a full day a year stuck in traffic. Multiple studies have shown that stress levels not only rise when a person is sat in traffic but remain high even when the person has reached their destination, contributing to reduced job and life satisfaction and diminished mental health. Meanwhile, the effects on health of transport-related air pollution are well documented. According to the World Health Organisation, road transport will remain a significant contributor to air pollution in conurbations across Europe, with estimates indicating that 100,000 deaths a year could be linked to ambient air pollution, shortening overall life expectancy by a year on average. Smart city concepts such as responsive traffic flow measures have the potential to reduce congestion and with it the negative effects on human physical and mental health. For example, smart traffic lights and programmable smart barriers could work in unison, both responding to realtime data, and manage traffic flows in a way that drastically cuts commuter times and improves a cities’ level of air quality. With business leaders and local authorities under renewed pressure to meet net zero targets by 2050, an accelerated progression

Pedestrianisation is key when it comes to creating new multifunctional spaces for people to gather and socialise, and smart barriers have the ability to zone off different areas as required at different times throughout the year towards smart cities could provide a significant boost in reaching those targets. Making secure smart cities a reality As urban populations continue to increase, persisting with legacy urban infrastructures becomes more counter-productive each day. The risk to public safety, resulting from pollution, congestion, and vehicle-based terror attacks cannot be alleviated with mere guidance or words of advice. It requires real, physical measures that are powered by the latest in communications technology. What’s more is that public appetite for smart city advancement is growing. Our own research, undertaken in 2018, found that nearly a one in four (24 per cent) respondents would be happy for a portion of their tax contribution to go towards implementing smart solutions. This enthusiasm was found to increase considerably on matters of transport infrastructure, with over half (57 per cent) content for their tax to go towards smart traffic lights, and 44 per cent for smarter signage that displays real-time traffic updates. In relation to emergency incidents such as terror attacks, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of those we surveyed wanted improvements to their local road systems that would allow emergency services to reach an incident faster. With features such as smart barriers able to drive safety and efficiency across the cities of the future and with public demand for such measures growing all the time, cost

emerges as the main obstacle to widespread implementation. However, it is the cost of inaction that should be influencing debate. Recent figures have shed light on the economic impact of road congestion and traffic with the estimated cost to the UK economy in 2019 standing at close to £7 billion - the equivalent of £894 per driver and an average of 115 hours of lost productivity. Demonstrating proof of concept will be essential for the advancement of smart cities as the solutions to create them already exist. Smaller scale, pilot projects in individual cities, or the widespread use of a single solution, such as smart barriers would provide ample proof to the public, to investors, and other stakeholders of the benefits a smart city can provide for those living within them. Indeed, live data is currently being used in parts of the UK to inform people about parking spaces, A&E waiting times, and the availability of goods in stores. Meanwhile, the deployment of rain and humidity sensors in parks alert local authorities with the optimal times to water plants and grass and apps have been introduced which allow the public to report local issues by uploading photos from their smartphones together with a location. The first steps are already being taken in the drive towards smart cities, their safety and security must now take precedence. The public demand is there, and the solutions are ready for deployment, all we are waiting for now is the collective action. L FURTHER INFORMATION




Using digital connectivity to tackle the key challenges of our age Dan Clarke, who has overseen the development of the innovative Smart workstream in Greater Cambridge, explains how the programme is being expanded to bring the benefits of new technologies to rural areas of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Reliance on digital connectivity accelerated in an unprecedented manner during the Covid pandemic and is seen as vital for business recovery. Digital connectivity is also hugely important for meeting some of the key challenges of our age - from sustainable economic growth to climate change mitigation and the management of scarce resources including water and energy. Advanced data techniques, sensor technology and digital connectivity are creating opportunities to support the sustainable growth of local economies, create better places and to help address some of these challenges particularly traffic congestion, air pollution and flooding. This will be particularly important as city regions begin to transition to zero carbon. Digital technologies, data and connectivity will play a significant role in the development of smart grids, decarbonisation of transport and in the delivery of services which move us toward zero carbon. Connecting Cambridgeshire The Connecting Cambridgeshire digital connectivity infrastructure programme, hosted by Cambridgeshire County Council and led by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority has established a national reputation for collaborative working at the leading edge of innovation, attracting public and private sector funding to invest in a future-facing digital infrastructure. The multi-agency programme has recently launched an updated Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Strategy for 2021-2025, focussing on delivering next-generation broadband and mobile coverage, using ‘smart’ technologies to improve the environment, extend free public access Wi-Fi, and push towards true digital inclusion. Communities, businesses, and public services who relied on digital connectivity as a lifeline during Covid will now benefit from plans to support business recovery and make digital technology more inclusive, so more people can access healthcare, education and jobs. The strategy builds upon Connecting Cambridgeshire’s successful rollout of superfast broadband and public access Wi-Fi. The programme is at the vanguard of the government’s Project Gigabit programme which will attract ~£40 million central government investment to the area. It is estimated that fibre broadband will bring £600 million GVA and 10,000 extra jobs by 2025. Over 150 SMEs across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have already benefitted from


Smart programme to Cambridgeshire market towns and rural areas. ‘Smart’ technology, including ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) based connectivity to collate data, is now being used to provide access to real-time transport information for journey planning and environmental monitoring, such as flooding and air quality sensors, across the area. The work has seen the establishment of a Data Platform to collate sensor data in one place, allowing easy sharing and re-use of data by making it available to be fed into a range of tools, which support the modelling and visualisation of data to draw intelligence Smart programme and insight from it. The updated digital Relianc e Transport has long connectivity strategy will on digi been recognised as a see ‘smart’ technology t a l conn barrier to economic playing an increasingly acceler ectivity growth and the important role in a ted in a unprec Smart programme helping to improve n edente has trialled a range the economic strength d m during anner of journey planning and sustainability t pandem he Covid tools using realof the area. i time travel data The ‘Smart as vital c and is seen for bu to make access to Cambridge’ programme public transport easier was set up by Connecting recover siness y and encourage people Cambridgeshire to to choose sustainable explore how data, emerging travel options using buses, technology and digital bikes and trains instead of cars. connectivity can be used to transform SmartPanels have been developed to the way people live, work and travel. Over the display location-specific travel information past five years, this innovative work has been on large screens in a range of buildings conducted in partnership with the University such as libraries and office foyers, using of Cambridge as part of a workstream of live and timetabled bus and train data the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP). to provide more accurate predictions A new workstream, sponsored by the of travel times, together with road Combined Authority was established in traffic maps and weather reports. 2020/21 to extend successful elements of the a £1 million Digital Technology Grants for business grant scheme launched earlier this year to boost recovery and growth in the region, funded by the Combined Authority with additional EU money. So far, the scheme has injected over half a million pounds into the local economy, supporting recovery, growth, and resilience by opening up new opportunities for local businesses. Successful applicants have bought digital technology and services through other businesses in the area and have employed more staff to further support the local economy.


These smart tools are now being rolled out to 11 market towns with Pocket SmartPanels making live travel information available via smartphones for travellers on the go, and Digital Totems in town centres, such as Huntingdon, displaying useful information for shoppers and visitors to support the local economy. New technologies such as Autonomous Vehicles (AV) are being explored to look at how they can support the public transport network. The programme has worked with the Wellcome Trust to look at how AV’s can support their campus outside Cambridge by transporting employees and visitors from a nearby rail station to the site increasing the number of journeys made by sustainable modes of transport.

Opportunities for deploying AVs in the city have also been explored with funding secured to conduct a pilot using AVs as part of the public transport system in summer 2021. As well as real-time travel information, data collected from sensors can help in addressing a wide range of issues, including supporting in-home care, monitoring water usage and warning of flooding, measuring air quality and pollution, managing energy through smart grids and monitoring the impact of new developments on infrastructure. To support this, the Smart programme is delivering a sensor network project involving the rollout of long-range wireless networks (LoRa). The network has potential to support a whole ecosystem of smart connected devices that can be used by businesses, local


The digital connectivity infrastructure programme has established a national reputation for collaborative working at the leading edge of innovation, attracting public and private sector funding to invest in a future-facing digital infrastructure

authorities, educational organisations, and the public to explore, trial and implement IoT technology to grow the local economy. Because these networks are low power, batteries can last for up to 10 years and the networks can cover large areas. LoRa networks have already been deployed in Cambridge, Ely, Soham, South Cambridgeshire and St Neots and work with district council partners is underway to extend the networks to Huntingdon, St Ives and Ramsey, with the ultimate aim to expand across Cambridgeshire, allowing the exchange of data with similar networks in neighbouring counties. Cambridge-based company cThings has been appointed to install the expanded LoRa networks - which will include a public, open access network that will be available for anyone to use (including residents and schools); and a separate private network that will be available for local authority services and for commercial use by businesses - due to their extensive experience in delivering reliable long-range wide area networks, providing graphs and other visualisations to interpret the data being collected. Connecting Cambridgeshire is working with local councils to determine the best way to use the LoRa network effectively and deploy IoT technology to help digitalise services to make them more efficient and better able to support local communities in their postCovid recovery plans. The team will also work with entrepreneurs and local organisations to help them understand the opportunities and support interested companies with utilising IoT within their businesses. A key focus of the Smart workstream has been supporting district councils and the Cambridge Business Improvement District to attract visitors and shoppers back into our cities and market towns using digital information that gives useful travel and tourist information and promotes shops, hospitality and venues. The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme is installing public access Wi-Fi and supporting the deployment of next generation technologies such as 5G, which will allow visitors to access digital information and unlock new opportunities to engage through technologies such as AR and VR. Digital technologies and connectivity have the potential to significantly change the places we live in for the better, but we need to be sure that they are inclusive and bring benefit for residents and visitors. Local authorities need to bring a range of voices into the development of new technologies, including local communities, business and academia, forming collaborative relationships that will ensure the technology is deployed for the good of the place, in an ethical and sustainable way. L

Dan Clarke is Strategy and Partnerships Manager for the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme. FURTHER INFORMATION



Earning Civic Dollars is a walk in the park

(L-R) Stephen McPeake, CEO of Civic Dollars, Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl and NI Justice Minister, Naomi Long launch the new ‘Civic Dollars’ mobile phone app.

A new ‘Civic Dollars’ mobile phone app, developed with support from Belfast City Council and the Department of Justice, means that people can now earn rewards for the time they spend in their local parks and open spaces. The Connswater Community Greenway will be the first area to go live, followed by other parks across the city. Funded through the ‘Amazing Spaces, Smart Places’ project, the scheme is part of the council’s Smart Belfast programme, which is exploring how data and innovative technologies can create smart solutions to improve city services.

Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl said: “Exercising outside and connecting with nature really can help our mental well-being. So it’s fantastic that people can now earn Civic Dollars for the time they spend in our parks and open spaces. They can enjoy rewards including public transport passes and tickets to visitor attractions or support their local community group by donating Civic Dollars to them. “The Civic Dollars app also provides insights that will help us understand how people use green spaces, improve park management, reduce littering and anti-social behaviour and enhance the visitor experience.”

A number of Belfast-based community groups can benefit from donated Civic Dollars, exchanging them for various services such as training, professional advice and activity centre sessions. Naomi Long, NI Justice Minister, said: “Effectively managing public open spaces is a key element in developing a safe community, where we respect the law and each other. The Civic Dollars pilot scheme holds the potential to deliver real benefits to local communities by using technology to improve the safe use of our parks and open spaces; something that is so important for both physical and mental health. Congratulations to all involved in this innovative pilot scheme and I look forward to hearing how it has progressed as more people use it in the coming weeks and months.” Stephen McPeake added: “Our focus is about improving communities, and our own health and wellbeing – Civic Dollars provides the perfect solution with a new community currency!” L FURTHER INFORMATION

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