29 November 2017
Bristol has overtaken London to become the country’s leading smart city, according to the latest UK Smart Cities Index.
Now in its second year, the index is compiled by Navigant Consulting on behalf of Huawei UK.
It is based on evaluations of 20 cities and their strategies, key projects and overall readiness in using digital technology to improve crucial civic services from transport infrastructure to healthcare.
The researchers say Bristol’s move up the rankings is a direct result of it taking “significant strides” to extend its innovation programmes and more closely integrate these into the city’s overall strategy.
For instance, the Bristol Is Open project provides a large-scale connectivity testbed and the new City Operations Centre ensures that services are effectively implemented. Bristol is also said to lead in data access, energy innovation and community engagement.
Meanwhile, London’s smart city plans have evolved since the 2016 index to focus on data-driven policy initiatives and an “ambitious” new environmental plan, says the study. It adds that there has also been “considerable progress” in several of the capital’s boroughs, notably in the Digital Greenwich programme.
Furthermore, the appointment of a chief digital officer is expected to accelerate London’s development in coming months.
While Bristol and London were named as “leaders”, the researchers found that the most improved city is Manchester, which has climbed two places to third, while Cambridge has entered the top ten despite not featuring in last year’s report (see table above right).