While I feel that Smart City development is something that lends itself to co-operation, as well as competition, it was great to read this press release from the UK Government about their ambitions for Smart Cities in the UK, specifically about the creation of the Smart Cities Forum. The opening to the release is below:
‘Government, cities, businesses and universities are joining forces to make sure the UK is leading the global race to develop smarter cities.
Government, cities, businesses and universities are joining forces to make sure the UK is leading the global race to develop smarter cities. A new forum led by government, will see local authorities and businesses working together to ensure that growth opportunities are not missed in a market estimated to be worth more than $400 billion globally by 2020.
The Smart Cities Forum has met for the first time today (18 December 2013) and will develop plans to support the creation of smarter cities in the UK. Smart cities have the potential for businesses to plan efficient routes to transport goods, allow local authorities to create effective public health services and provide the public with access to real time data so they can plan their daily activities.
The forum is being co-chaired by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts and Cities Minister Greg Clark.
David Willetts said:
There is huge potential for the UK to be the world leader in smart cities. We are well placed to take advantage of up to a $40 billion share of the market place by 2020, so we must make sure we do not miss this opportunity. The new Smart Cities Forum will bring the best minds together on a regular basis to establish a clear plan to exploit the exciting technologies that we have at our disposal.’
David Willetts will be speaking at Ovum’s Smart to Future Cities in April 2014 – www.smarttofuture.com – which is particularly exciting. Other speakers, who are also members of the Smart Cities Forum include Sir Alan Wilson, University College London; Peter Madden, Future Cities Catapult; Scott Steedman, British Standards Institution (BSI), as well as representatives from the cities of Sunderland, Bristol, London, Milton Keynes, Glasgow, Birmingham… [and outside of the UK] Chicago, Bilbao, Barcelona, Helsinki, Berlin and more. Check out the speaker line-up here.
Technology end-users from City Councils and Enterprises can register for the event for free, so be sure to secure your place today, and let’s see how Smart Cities can show us that the future is nearer than we think.