The advent of smart cities has seen smart technology expand and take place on a larger scale. Now urban developments are reaping the benefits of using technology to connect amenities and drive a better quality of life. And thanks to a recent report, we may start to see a bit of competition between UK cities on the smart cities front, which will only spur a nationwide rollout.
ICT solutions provider Huawei recently released a report ranking UK cities in their success with smart cities, with the capital coming out on top. London received credit for using digital technology in developing several factors of the city, including transport and refuse collection. As a B2B PR agency based near to Manchester, we were keen to see how our local city did, and we’re happy to report that it reached a respectable fifth place.
It’s great to see Manchester recognised for its Internet of Things (IoT) demo project. Last year it received £10 million from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport to invest in IoT, which will see it establish a UK IoT Centre of Excellence. This will see start-ups and SMEs nationwide take part in an innovation programme to trial and test IoT solutions. As Manchester becomes the breeding ground for smart technology development, we may start to see it pioneer some smart city solutions that other cities follow suit on. Who knows- maybe we’ll even outdo the capital someday?
But while Manchester has been offered funding, other cities don’t have the same resources to spur smart technology. Along with releasing its report, Huawei raises an important issue that while there’s been funding for demonstration projects, we still need more in the way of public sector investment for full-scale commercial deployments. That said, it’ll take time, and hopefully Huawei’s recent report will be one of many things that spurs smart cities to be a hot talking-point.
Alex Brown has just started his career at Skout PR and will be a regular contributor to the Skout blog.