Newcastle plans to become UK’s smartest city

Written by Sam Trendall on 12 July 2018 in News
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Council’s cabinet to vote on proposal to work with a technology partner to realise the city’s ambitions

Credit: PA

Newcastle City Council has put forward proposals designed to create “the UK’s leading smart city”. 

A meeting taking place on Monday will ask the council’s cabinet members to approve two proposals, the first of which is that they will “endorse Newcastle’s aspirations and ambitions as a technologically innovative and smart city”.

The second, more detailed proposal asks the cabinet to green-light a “tech partner approach” to the smart-city plans, in which a formal consultation with the market will be launched this autumn. Following the conclusion of this exercise, the council will identify a technology partner with which it can work to implement the necessary connectivity infrastructure to enable the use of sensors and other smart technologies.


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The proposal said: “This will enable the council to develop a commissioning model that will provide financial resource and technological expertise for the development and deployment of financially compelling business cases which utilise innovative technology to reform public-service delivery.”

Council deputy leader Joyce McCarty claimed that Newcastle has “strong foundations in place” to make its smart-city ambitions a reality, including an existing partnership with networking vendor Cisco to create “the world’s smartest street”.

“Our passion for a digital revolution is driven by all we know it can deliver,” she added.  “That’s why we to be leaders in this: to ensure that our brave new world of data and innovation puts people first.”

In the annual UK Smart Cities Index published by Navigant Consulting in October 2017, Newcastle was ranked 14th. The city was placed with a group of 11 other “contender” cities, all of which have shown some progress but not enough to be considered among the “leaders”. Last year Bristol overtook London to be named by the report as the UK’s smartest city.

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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