London’ s first concerted effort to use smart city applications took place in 2012, with the purpose of managing public transport under the demanding circumstances of that year’ s Olympic Games. Eventually, in 2013, the Smart London Board was created, comprising academics, businesses and entrepreneurs, commissioned to advise the Greater London Authority on smart city matters. The Board produced the Smart London Plan, revolving around seven key themes: (1) placing Londoners at the core of innovation, (2) providing access to open data, (3) leveraging London’ s research technology and creative talent, (4) facilitating networking among and with other smart city stakeholders (5) enabling ‘˜smarter’ infrastructure development and management (6) providing more effective and integrated City Hall services and (7) offering a ‘˜smarter’ London experience for all. The plan includes a series of actions and measures of success for each key theme. London’ s smart city strategy is mostly focused around the institutional and digital space, rather than the physical. However, it includes some improvements and new developments in infrastructure, as well as urban regeneration projects. The most important one is ‘˜Here East’ , a 1,200,000 sq. ft. digital quarter to be developed at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, leveraging the buildings of the former Press and Broadcast Centers of the 2012 Olympics. It will be a campus purposed to support the growth of London’ s technology sector, combining business, technology, media, education and data to create a local system of innovation. As such, it will provide space for start-ups, education and post graduate research.
Figure: Smart London Strategy Diagram (source)
Access the Smart London website here.
Suggested readings about the Smart London initiative:
- Greater London Authority official website. (2013). Smart London Plan. Available here.
- Fletcher-Smith, F. (2014). DD1214 Smart London Innovation Network. Available here.
- Malthouse, K. (2014). The Mayor’ s Smart London Plan: making London an even better city to live in, using the creative power of new technologies to serve London and improve Londoners’ lives. Available here.