Analysis

Research shows councils not on track for Smart City

11th July 2016
Anna Flockett
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It has been highlighted that many local governments are lacking budget, capability and leadership crucial for the process of introducing smart cities across the UK.

A smart city uses communications to enhance performance and scope of urban services, to reduce, resource, and use and to engage more wholly and beneficially with its citizens. It is well documented that Smart Cities will deliver: new services, efficiencies (resource, money, time) and a wealth of society benefits.

Smart cities however are not deemed a strategic priority for the majority of councils in the UK it was revealed, and research also identifies barriers that are stifling the progress of smart initiatives and connected technology in cities across the UK.

Without a clear roadmap to delivery from Government and a coherent, cost-effective approach, the UK risks lagging behind other countries with an inconsistent and delayed roll-out of smart cities.

187 councils from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were contacted as part of the research, commissioned by street lighting experts Lucy Zodion and conducted by independent research agency DJS Research. A significant gap was identified between those councils leading the way on smart cities and those not yet engaged: over 80% had little to no involvement with smart cities and few had named smart city leads or teams managing smart implementation.

Five major barriers to delivery were highlighted during the research: a lack of funding, a lack of internal prioritisation, a lack of evidence, insufficient collaboration, and a general lack of confidence amongst council leaders.

John Fox, managing director of Lucy Zodion, said: “Local authorities hold the key to unlocking the benefits of smart connected cities, yet this research has identified fundamental barriers to a consistent and cost-effective roll-out and significant differences to the approach to smart cities across the country.”

The full report is available on Lucy Zodion’s smart cities online hub, along with smart city news and resources: visit www.citihorizons.com for more information.

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