Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

UK to adopt local approach to Smart Cities

William Payne
February 25, 2016
The United Kingdom's Minister for the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey, has announced that while the UK Government remains fully committed to the development of Smart Cities, it will not adopt a centralised national model for their development. UK devolution and localisation initiatives mean that local countries and regions within the UK are achieving far greater autonomy and the UK Government is concerned that local city authorities should adopt their own approaches to Smart City development rather than have a centralised approach imposed from Whitehall.

The smaller countries of the United Kingdom all now have devolved administrations. The UK Government is pursuing a policy of greater regional devolution and localisation in the English regions as well.

Mr Vaizey said that large variations in needs between different areas of the United Kingdom, as well as differing visions and regional plans, made it sensible for each area to define their own approach to framing and implementing Smart City policies.

The minister said that the Internet of Things is expected to play an increasing role in future Smart City implementations, as will data analytics, building information management (BIM) – which the Government is currently implementing for all public sector constructions – and the increasing use of mobile and electronic devices.

Mr Vaizey highlighted the Smart City project in the English city of Peterborough, which subsequently beat cities including Dubai and Buenos Aires to win the Smart City Award at the Global Smart City Expo in Barcelona.

A number of other UK cities are implementing Smart City solutions.

The UK government has identified more than 32,000 companies in the United Kingdom that are involved in providing Smart City related products and services. The overall sector is worth £16 billion to the UK economy, with 400,000 jobs generated by its activities.