London and Bristol crowned UK’s leading smart cities

The first ever Huawei UK Smart Cities Index measured how well the nation’s urban centres are doing at using digital technology to improve everything from their transport infrastructure to their refuse collection.

London and Bristol were ranked as ‘Leaders’ at the top of the table; next came the ‘Contenders’, with Birmingham in third place, followed by Glasgow, Manchester, and Milton Keynes.

The Huawei UK Smart Cities Index rankings were calculated by an in-depth analysis of ten criteria within their strategy and execution, covering areas such as their vision, objectives, implementation record, environmental impact and community reach.

London and Bristol came top as a result of pioneering a range of urban innovations. London’s successes include its congestion charge scheme and other transport innovations and the London Datastore. Bristol’s achievements include the unique Bristol Is Open project, which has brought together the University of Bristol, Bristol City Council and industry partners to create a city-scale network for innovation. Other notable programmes include Birmingham’s plans to make East Birmingham a testbed for smart technology; Manchester’s new Internet of Things City Demonstrator; Glasgow’s range of projects developed as part of Future Cities Demonstrator programme; and Milton Keynes’ MK:Smart collaboration on IoT projects with the Open University and other partners.

The Index highlighted five themes that are common across the most successful smart city programmes which are, the importance of leadership and vision; a need to focus on local priorities and strengths; the importance of engagement with local communities; building local partnerships and understanding the way in which the data revolution can improve services and boost innovation.

Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, said, ‘The Huawei UK Smart Cities Index highlights cities developing innovative digital projects and measures how well they are performing against each other. I hope it will encourage city leaders to share best practice and promote competition, because smarter use of data and technology drives growth and delivers a better quality of life. The government strongly supports the Smart Cities sector, through the Future Cities Catapult and the Internet of Things City Demonstrator programme, and we welcome this report.’

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