Mayor of London touts capital as smart city
Mayor of London touts capital as smart city

Mayor of London touts capital as smart city

Boris outlines how London could play key role in smart city technology market

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has reaffirmed a commitment to make London a smart city and cash in on a smart city technology market that could be worth £8.9 billion by 2020.

The report, said that figures it had commissioned from Arup found that the capital had the potential to take one per cent of the global smart city market. It added that over half of London’s contribution (£4.6bn) would be focused on smart energy, transport and mobility, healthcare and environmental infrastructure (water and waste) sectors combined.

The report identified a number of actions as priorities for the next mayor, these included; enabling growth through resilient digital infrastructure, smart homes, making more data available, and investing in innovation and working with business to support common standards, produce smarter regulations, and scale-up innovation.

Johnson said that the city was expected to expand to 10m residents by 2036 and smart city technology was needed to support this growth.

“Our tech industry is renowned for its innovation and entrepreneurial energy. That is why investment in the sector is so high – ten times more than just five years ago. We have been working hard at City Hall to open up London’s data and build new tools to see how to best deal with our growing capital,” he said.

He added that since the publication of the Smart London Plan two years ago, much progress has been made. “However, there is still – and always will be – much more to do if we want London to stay at the bleeding edge of technology. In this report, we take a look at our achievements so far, and set out some big ideas for the future,” he added.

Also read: IoT is the building blocks for smart cities and smarter business

Smart city investment needed

Prof. David Gann, chair of the Smart London Board, said that City Hall needs to build on its achievements so far. “Londoners, businesses and the tech industry also have a role to play. Together we must help the city to harness these opportunities and maintain London’s reputation as an engaged, growing, entrepreneurial, tech-savvy city,” he said.

Philipp Schuster, MD of Loxone UK, told Internet of Business that smart cities needed great investment in the short-term.

“The current infrastructure in most UK cities is so far behind that the upgrade alone is probably not feasible in the short term. It is could be more worthwhile to hold off until newer technology is available that could be more cost effective,” he said.

“That said, smart cities would solve a lot of money and environmental issues by reducing the overall running costs of a cities and minimising carbon emissions. As such, smart cities will increase the quality of living by boosting productivity and increasing citizen safety with a reduction in crime levels.

In related smart city news, Vodafone and Philips have inked to a deal to partner on connected lighting and smart city services that would city authorities worldwide to implement smart street lighting systems which will be connected wirelessly, saving energy and making maintenance easier and more efficient.

The Philips CityTouch street lighting management system will use Vodafone’s machine-to-machine (M2M) network to connect individual light points. Every connected street lamp will contain a Vodafone M2M SIM. City authorities can then monitor and manage lighting while engineers will be able to check performance, identify faults and control the lighting remotely.

Bill Bien, SVP, head of strategy and marketing, at Philips Lighting added: “Just less than 12 percent of the world’s street lights are LED and less than 2 percent are connected. We are at the start of a new era which will see highly energy efficient connected street lighting become the backbone of most smart cities. Robust, reliable wireless connectivity will help make this happen, linking streetlights with sensors, devices and management systems.”

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