it innovation

London Assembly launches Smart London Plan

Caroline Baldwin

The London Assembly has released its Smart London Plan, which highlights how innovative technologies can be used to help sustain future growth of the capital.

The plan will look into smart technologies through a series of challenges to encourage entrepreneurs, research and businesses to develop creative solutions using open data.

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By 2030, the Mayor’s Office predicts the population of London will reach 10,000,000. This projection will require at least another 641,000 jobs, a further 800,000 homes, and more than 600,000 extra passengers will need to travel by public transport at peak times.

“London is an open data pioneer," said Nigel Shadbolt, chairman of the London Data Institute. "The London Datastore was one of the first platforms of its kind, and the products and services that have been built using it have delivered direct social, economic and environmental benefits to Londoners. By placing open data at its core, the Smart London Plan becomes an important catalyst for opening up more data in a usable and accessible form.”

Smart London Plan highlights

  • A Smart London Innovation Network will bring London’s entrepreneurs and innovators together with the organisations delivering and financing London’s new infrastructure and services.
  • A Smart London Innovation Challenge will ask entrepreneurs, researchers, businesses and Londoners to develop creative solutions to challenges posed by the growth of the capital.
  • Increasing uptake of computer science in schools and doubling the number of businesses taking on technology apprenticeships.
  • Ensuring London has one of the fastest wireless networks in the world.
  • Working with London’s boroughs on "smart approaches" to shared challenges through freeing London’s local level data and scaling up innovations across London.
  • Creating a Smart London export programme that will sell London’s expertise to the world.

Earlier this year, London mayor Boris Johnson established a board of digital experts to create the Smart London Plan to tackle the concerns about the growing population.

David Gann CBE, vice-president for development and innovation at Imperial College London and chair of the Smart London Board, said London was better placed than other cities around the word to exploit current technological innovations.

“Our world-class universities, Tech City cluster and pioneering citizens endow the capital with a peerless combination of specialist talent,” said Gann. “The Smart London Plan provides the leadership we need to secure London’s future for next-generation digital infrastructure to create a smarter city.”

The assembly has chosen the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to showcase the Smart London Plan.

Today, the mayor unveiled plans to transform the park into a “digital environment” to showcase how digital technology can improve the way we experience cities. The park will be a testing ground for the new digital technologies, including transport systems and energy services.

The park already uses smart technologies to provide zero carbon renewable energy, and it would also be used to track residents’ energy use. It is using the iCITY one million square foot datacentre to support the growth of London’s tech scene.

The mayor has called on all Londoners, businesses and universities to provide feedback on the plan online.


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