London is set to become a true smart city with next generation connectivity, under plans announced by Sadiq Khan.
Smarter London Together — the Mayor of London’s roadmap for making London the world’s smartest city — features more than 20 initiatives aimed at helping the city’s public services use tech and data to improve the lives of all Londoners.
For instance, the new Connected London programme will coordinate connectivity and 5G projects, aiming to achieve “ubiquitous gigabit-capable digital connectivity” and prepare the city for the rollout of 5G.
This will include making greater use of public buildings and existing physical infrastructure to tackle ‘notspots’; proposing planning powers to require full fibre connectivity to all new homes; and supporting bids for government funding to test 5G connectivity.
The Smarter London Together plan also involves support for a new generation of smart infrastructure such as lampposts incorporating air quality sensors, public Wi-Fi and electric vehicle charging points.
To promote greater data sharing among public services, the Mayor will invest £365,000 in the London Office of Data Analytics and propose a new body to foster closer working between local authorities, universities and the tech community. Alongside this, there will be a city-wide cyber security strategy and a strengthening of data rights and accountability to build public trust.
Another element of the roadmap is the Civic Innovation Challenge, which will match tech startups with leading companies and public bodies to tackle some of London’s most pressing problems, including the ageing population, climate change and inequality.
Highlighting London’s position as a leading tech hub, Khan launched a report from CognitionX on London’s artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem, which shows the capital is home to 758 AI companies — more than twice as many as its closest rivals Paris and Berlin combined.