SMART Cities Cardiff
Smart technology is already transforming cities across the world. Technology can help us build safer, zero carbon cities based on circular systems in which green space and nature are integrated into urban planning. City administrations face the challenges of growing populations, diminishing resources, increased traffic and climate change. Around the world and here in the UK, public-private partnerships and collaborations are meeting these challenges and providing creative, profitable solutions that enhance public well-being.
Following successful events held by UK BCSD in Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester during 2016 Cynnal Cymru co-hosted the SMART Cities Cardiff event in February 2017, to bring together the public and private sectors together to explore the potential of Smart technology to deliver a modern, low carbon economy that delivers prosperity and well-being in a sustainable way.
SMART Cities Cardiff – Event interviews
Hear from an impressive agenda of senior academic, public and private sector speakers from both Wales and UK.
The UK Government has agreed a £1.2billion City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region in partnership with the Welsh Government and 10 local authorities. The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) City Deal will deliver £1.2 billion of investment in the Cardiff Capital Region’s infrastructure through a 20-year Investment Fund. This provides the opportunity for ambitious, innovative development to meet huge topographical, demographic, environmental and economic challenges.
The premise for this event is that Smart technology has a key role to play in realising the ambitions of the CCR. Sheila Davies, Project Director, Cardiff Capital Region City Deal reflected on this.
Pat Laughlin, CEO of the UKBCSD explained how her organisation links cities in the UK to a wider global network of cities on the road to zero carbon. On the back of the CCR, Cardiff can join this network, taking the opportunity to collaborate with Smart cities like Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham.
The Welsh Government recognises the importance of smart technology: event sponsor PSBA is a partnership between BT, the Welsh Government and the public sector in Wales that uses digital communications technology to deliver public services in a more efficient and co-ordinated way. Chris Greenwood (PSBA) and Tom Baker (BT) gave an overview of the initiative and its future potential. Gwylim Owen from Cardiff Council presented an example of how Smart technology is being used at a local level to address emergency response and city resilience.
Eleanor Knight spoke on behalf of the Welsh Government. Her current role is assisting the Welsh Government Energy Advisor to develop the Smart Living Initiative to create a portfolio of innovative demonstrators which will influence and provide learning opportunities to help shape future thinking in this area. This initiative is backed up by innovation funding. Eleanor explained how the door is open for businesses to work with the government in developing new ideas as demonstrators for Smart living. Alan Hendry of Jacobs UK and Chris Jones of Neath Port Talbot Council reported on how a public/private Smart Living partnership is already delivering results.
Brian McGuigan of Silver Springs Network and Koshi Noguchi of Toshiba give examples of how Smart technology is used in a commercial context while Prof. Calvin Jones and Dr. Crispin Cooper, leading researchers from Cardiff University’s Business School and Sustainable Places Research Institute, offered analysis of the challenges and opportunities ahead. Fflur Lawton, Head of Policy and Communications Wales for Smart Energy GB explained how the roll out of Smart meters can benefit businesses and public alike.
Public-private partnership could be a defining feature of a future, low carbon, Smart economy for Wales that overcomes entrenched challenges and unleashes innovation and enterprise for the benefit of current and future generations.