New report lists the UK’s top 10 smart cities

A new study by Juniper Research identifies the top 10 smart cities across the country, with London ranked in first place.

The research firm analysed a range of factors, including transport, healthcare, public safety, energy and productivity. Scores for each city were calculated according to diverse metrics, including present state-of-play variables (such as congestion and crime levels) alongside smart city rollouts, vision and long-term strategy.

The top 10 looks like this:

  1. London
  1. Edinburgh
  1. Glasgow
  1. Bristol
  1. Manchester
  1. Brighton & Hove
  1. Liverpool
  1. Oxford
  1. Birmingham
  1. Milton Keynes

Scotland’s major cities were notably strong performers.

Edinburgh’s 16-year smart city journey has allowed the city to learn from mistakes (such as disparate maintenance of systems and control of systems by separate council units) and apply its ‘One Council’ principle in order to better deliver citizen services, Juniper Research said.

Third-placed Glasgow has used the smart city concept to address a number of key challenges.

“The traffic system is integrated with emergency services, helping save lives,” said research author Steffen Sorrell. “Meanwhile a £24m grant was used to plan smart CCTV rollout, using artificial intelligence to detect suspicious objects and terrorist activity.”

The report also highlighted the financial hurdles that lie ahead for the smart city market.

For instance, the European Investment Bank and Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme, have contributed more than £23bn to the UK market over the last three years. After the UK leaves the European Union in 2019, alternative funding will have to be found to replace them.

Amongst other things, funding challenges can cause problems when it comes to scaling projects, particularly for SMEs. Juniper urged the creation of more ‘test bed’ environments in cities, enabling experimentation prior to full rollout.

“This would allow more risk-averse players, such as utilities, to enable disruptive service providers to work in partnership with them to develop smart city solutions and new business models,” the company explained.

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