Innovation and Efficiency

18.12.17

Smart Cambridge makes rapid progress

Dan Clarke, programme manager at Cambridge County Council, explains how Smart Cambridge has evolved since it was established in August 2015 by the local city deal, and reveals what’s coming next.

Cambridge has made it into Britain’s top 10 smartest cities for the first time this year, showing the rapid progress of the innovative Smart Cambridge programme in just over two years.

The city jumped straight to 10th place in the 2017 Huawei UK Smart Cities Index report due to its pioneering work using data and emerging technologies to find smart ways to tackle transport, air quality and other urban challenges.

Smart Cambridge is commended for its collaborative work in cutting-edge research, setting up an intelligent City Platform (iCP) to collate real-time data, establishing a LoRa network and supporting innovative Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership – the local delivery body for the city deal – provided an initial investment of £300,000 in the Smart Cambridge programme to develop smart city initiatives that help improve the economic strength and sustainability of the area.

A programme board and advisory group provide governance and guidance for the work of Smart Cambridge, bringing together local councils, tech businesses, university researchers and partner organisations.

Working closely with the University of Cambridge, the Smart Cambridge iCP has been established to provide a common platform for a variety of IoT-based projects. The partners have also set up a city-wide LoRa low-power network for demonstration IoT projects. Open APIs will soon be added to the network to enable a wider range of organisations to access and use the network, managed by the university.

The combination of local authority and university initiatives provides a strong basis for future exploitation of the platform to improve city services, with further funding now available for projects to address transport, housing, energy and health improvements.

One of the most extensive of the initial projects on the network is an air quality monitoring system for the city. Twenty air quality sensors were added to the network to provide more granular information on city pollution levels. Work is now being done with the university to explore how this might be extended to a wider range of sensors including traffic monitoring and providing real-time bus and train information.

Smart Cambridge publishes data through a countywide partnership, Cambridge Insight, an open platform for sharing data and a research knowledge base for the Cambridgeshire area. The links with the University of Cambridge are particularly important for expanding the use of data for city improvement. The university is providing computing, networking and analytic resources, and is leading the way in the investigation of the use of machine learning and predictive analytics on city data.

Improving transport in the region, encouraging people to travel sustainably and reducing city congestion are important focus areas for Smart Cambridge, which is exploring a range of projects including visualising useful travel data, developing a unified ticketing scheme, the potential role of autonomous vehicles, and the feasibility of new rapid transit solutions and how these might integrate with emerging technologies.

Cambridge is building a super cycleway network and expanding bus services and park & ride sites. It is also aiming to improve the management and use of on-street and workplace parking through smart technologies. 

The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme aims to improve the region’s digital infrastructure with better broadband, free public wi-fi and wider mobile coverage. Combined with commercial provision, the fibre broadband roll-out has now reached over 95% of homes and businesses across the county. Connecting Cambridgeshire has also provided free public wi-fi in more than 120 public buildings.

Top image © Tom Reville

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION
W: connectingcambridgeshire.co.uk/smartcamb

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Council controversially begins first monthly bin collection in England and Wales

25/09/2018Council controversially begins first monthly bin collection in England and Wales

Monthly bin collections have been introduced for the first time in England and Wales by Conwy County Council, despite major complaints from resid... more >
Nottinghamshire leader hits back: ‘We’re the most transparent and open council there is’

25/09/2018Nottinghamshire leader hits back: ‘We’re the most transparent and open council there is’

The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council has hit back against claims that the authority lacks transparency, claiming that the council is &ldq... more >
Exclusive: Notts leader rejects calls for council merger referendum, public decision due in May

25/09/2018Exclusive: Notts leader rejects calls for council merger referendum, public decision due in May

The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council has rejected calls from opposing councillors to put potential merger plans to a referendum, arguing ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Council controversially begins first monthly bin collection in England and Wales

25/09/2018Council controversially begins first monthly bin collection in England and Wales

Monthly bin collections have been introduced for the first time in England and Wales by Conwy County Council, despite major complaints from residents over piles of waste, rats and fly-tipping. ... more >
Nottinghamshire leader hits back: ‘We’re the most transparent and open council there is’

25/09/2018Nottinghamshire leader hits back: ‘We’re the most transparent and open council there is’

The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council has hit back against claims that the authority lacks transparency, claiming that the council is “the most open and transparent council there is.... more >

the raven's daily blog

Social value: what is it and why?

14/09/2018Social value: what is it and why?

Ben Carpenter, chief executive of Social Value UK, discusses the worth of social value, and argues that, before we start measuring social value, we should ask clearly: what is it, and why? Social value is so much more than a value for money exercise. If you see social value as simply a new catchphrase for ‘efficiency savings’... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Crown Commercial Service: Travel solutions on track

10/09/2018Crown Commercial Service: Travel solutions on track

Katrina Williams, head of travel at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), explains how they are helping government organisations to get the best de... more >
LEPs need to do more for England's countryside

10/09/2018LEPs need to do more for England's countryside

Paul Miner, head of strategic plans and devolution at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), highlights the findings of a recent survey wh... more >
What about social care?

10/09/2018What about social care?

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, looks at the exclusion of social care from the government’s rece... more >
Re-evaluating public service reforms

10/09/2018Re-evaluating public service reforms

Chris Painter, professor emeritus at Birmingham City University, explores the paradox of reform principles persisting despite mounting evidence a... more >

interviews

Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

06/08/2018Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

Michael King first joined the Local Government Ombudsman service back in 2004 as deputy ombudsman. At the start of 2017, he was appointed as the ... more >
Helping a city understand itself

06/08/2018Helping a city understand itself

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The urban landscape is changing. How can local authorities keep up with citizen behaviour? Stephen Leece, managing directo... more >
Modern policing: the future is bright

06/08/2018Modern policing: the future is bright

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The public sector, and policing in particular, has often been criticised as being slow to adapt to change. But now, says L... more >
Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >

public sector focus

View all News