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

Bill for cash-strapped council’s usage of ring-fenced money could be up to £16m

21/05/2018Bill for cash-strapped council’s usage of ring-fenced money could be up to £16m

 A new investigation into the usage of public funds by Northamptonshire County Council could levy the authority with a £16m grant bill... more >
Local authority’s enhanced powers ‘ripe for misuse’ for convicting hundreds of homeless, new figures show

21/05/2018Local authority’s enhanced powers ‘ripe for misuse’ for convicting hundreds of homeless, new figures show

People sleeping rough on Britain’s streets have been fined, given criminal records, or even imprisoned due to enhanced council powers to re... more >
Council calls on Whitehall to fix ‘broken’ funding system, rejects claims of bankruptcy

21/05/2018Council calls on Whitehall to fix ‘broken’ funding system, rejects claims of bankruptcy

A Conservative-controlled council has called on the government to sort out its “broken” funding system, and claimed it was not going ... 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 >
Bill for cash-strapped council’s usage of ring-fenced money could be up to £16m

21/05/2018Bill for cash-strapped council’s usage of ring-fenced money could be up to £16m

 A new investigation into the usage of public funds by Northamptonshire County Council could levy the authority with a £16m grant bill after its apparent usage of ring-fenced cash on o... more >
Local authority’s enhanced powers ‘ripe for misuse’ for convicting hundreds of homeless, new figures show

21/05/2018Local authority’s enhanced powers ‘ripe for misuse’ for convicting hundreds of homeless, new figures show

People sleeping rough on Britain’s streets have been fined, given criminal records, or even imprisoned due to enhanced council powers to reduce homelessness. New figures obtained in a ... more >

the raven's daily blog

The complexities of Brexit and the hunt for exceptional data scientists

16/04/2018The complexities of Brexit and the hunt for exceptional data scientists

Christopher Gallagher, public sector – SAS, says it’s imperative that organisations have the most experienced data scientists at hand. The Civil Service is feeling immense Brexit stress. Making the right decisions, analysing the ‘best interests’ of the nation as a whole, as well as discrete segments of the populati... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

The digital journey so far

08/05/2018The digital journey so far

Michael Sage, digital services group manager at Chelmsford City Council, outlines the authority’s journey towards becoming digitally indepe... more >
Equipping the cyber security gatekeepers

08/05/2018Equipping the cyber security gatekeepers

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) just around the corner, cyber security is on the lips of the whole public sector – but P... more >
The hydrogen revolution

08/05/2018The hydrogen revolution

PSE’s Josh Mines takes a look at an innovative scheme in Sheffield that will see some of the first hydrogen-fuelled vans begin work in the ... more >
Energy efficiency: not just a matter of more money

30/04/2018Energy efficiency: not just a matter of more money

David Reilly, head of cities & regions at the Carbon Trust, reports on the findings from this year’s Low Carbon Cities Conference. ... more >

interviews

GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

03/04/2018GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

SPONSORED INTERVIEW PSE’s Josh Mines chats to Martin de Martini, CIO of Y Soft, about what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)... 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 >
Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >

public sector focus

View all News