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Smart Cities Strategy

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Smart Cities has published a report (click here to download PDF)  “intelligent leadership”, following its inquiry into a UK Government strategy for Smart Cities (Tuesday 26 June).

The group called on the Government to do more to support UK cities and local authorities to grow and innovate.

Amongst the recommendations included in the report is a call to create a central virtual library of resources that cities can use to share best practice and learn the lessons from initiatives that have not succeeded. Central Government can also use this Library to develop foundational principles and rules that cities can use.

The report also calls for the appointment of Chief Digital or Information Officers at all levels of government – ensuring the UK has a digital capacity fit for the 21st Century.

To oversee the development of smart cities, the report also calls for the strengthening of ministerial responsibility – with a new, cross-departmental minister having responsibility for driving forward the government’s convening role in the smart agenda.  The report recognises that the benefits of smart technology often span departments, making it hard for individual leaders to see return on investment.  The MPs call for a more holistic way of measuring benefits so siloed thinking does not prevent improvements to local life.

The report highlights the many benefits that smart cities can bring, from making our cities accessible for all, reducing the strain on our health service, to creating a cleaner environment and enhancing air quality to providing a significant export opportunity.

APPG on Smart Cities Chair, Iain Stewart MP said:

“The report sets out how, with a few small steps, the Government can support the expansion of smart cities and allow them to recognise their potential. The economic potential of the UK becoming a leader in smart cities is huge – with the smart approach helping cities become more efficient and with a burgeoning overseas market ready to tap in to.

A coherent strategy from central government is needed to ensure a joined-up approach between businesses.  As a first step, the Government should create a central virtual library of resources and best practice, and set foundational principles and rules that cities can follow”.