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Bristol Knocks London Off The Top Spot As UK’s Leading Smart City

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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Twelve other UK cities have been marked as smart city contenders by Huawei UK

Bristol has outstripped London as the UK’s leading smart city,  due to its efforts to spark innovation programmes and integrate technology initiatives with the city’s over all development. 

Labelled as the UK’s “smartest city” Bristol took the top spot from the UK capital in the Smart Cities Index compiled by Huawei UK, which evaluated 20 British cities in their projects and overall preparation to embrace the use of digital technology to improve city life, from bolstering healthcare to streamlining transport. 

With its ‘Bristol Is Open’ large scale connectivity testbed project, a City Operation Centre to aid in the integration of digital services into the city’s infrastructure, as well as being a top player in the energy innovation, engaging with its community, and providing access to data, Bristol secured the top spot in the Index.

London took second place in the Index, while an improved Manchester climbed to the third spot.  

Twelve other cities we’re also marked as potential smart city leaders in the near future, including the likes of Belfast, Edinburgh, and Oxford. 

Cambridge also entered the top ten for the first time, having previously not been a smart city to look out for despite housing mobile chip giant ARM. 

smart citySmarter urban sprawls 

And the UK’s main cities are set to get smarter, with the government backing the development of urban areas that make solid use of digital technology. 

“The digital revolution is gaining momentum all over the UK – smarter cities can improve people’s everyday lives from accessing healthcare to simplifying waste management and streamlining public services,” said Matt Hancock, minister for Digital and Culture.

“We are backing smart cities and the recent review into Artificial Intelligence highlighted how we can establish ourselves as the world leader in this area of emerging technology.”

And Sir Andrew Chan, a member of Huawei UK’s board, was also enthusiastic about Britain’s smart city future. 

 “The successful cities of the future are going to be smart cities. It’s clear from this report that cities across the UK have made considerable progress over the last year, developing and implementing strategies to improve the delivery of public services and the urban environment,” he said. 

“The scale of progress throughout the country is represented by a doubling in the number of cities included in this year’s ranking index compared to 2016. While Bristol and London are named as “leaders”, other cities have entered the index with exciting smart initiatives, such as Newcastle’s City Futures programme and Cambridge’s Smart Cambridge intelligent City Platform (iCP).”

However, time will tell if the UK can really capitalise upon the potential garnered by its smart city growth

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