Southend-on-Sea is set to become a smart city, after networking specialist Cisco announced a partnership with the local council.
The two parties have agreed to “explore the digital future of the town, supporting its aspiration to provide smart, connected experiences for those living, working and visiting Southend.”
Using the Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform, they will investigate how smart city technologies can help improve service delivery, economic development and citizen engagement in the town.
A number of pilot initiatives are planned, including:
- Community safety — the creation of an intelligence hub using IP-based public safety solutions, making use of CCTV and video analytics to help reduce anti-social behaviour, noise and to aid crowd control.
- Smart traffic access and parking management — incorporating data solutions already deployed by Southend to ease congestion, provide smart parking and improve pedestrian safety.
- Resident support — investigating the provision of connected care homes, providing healthcare applications and round-the-clock care in local areas.
- Environmental monitoring and management — initially to address air quality monitoring and early flood management using Internet of Things technology.
- Energy management — exploring new energy-efficient solutions to help reduce power consumption across Southend.
Nick Corrigan, the council’s head of digital futures, commented: “Innovation is vital to the UK’s success as a global nation, and we are delighted to be playing a key role in this. We want to further enable our citizens and businesses to grow and evolve, in line with the rest of the UK and with competition globally.”