The UK’s first Smart Cities Index has named Bristol as the leading smart city outside London and leader in the UK for digital innovation, with Playable City recognised as a strong element of Bristol’s future city approach.
Bristol is identified as one of only two cities in the country named as a smart city Leader, the other being London. These two cities have set themselves apart from the others through their clarity, breadth and inclusiveness of their smart city visions and planning, and are leading the way in implementing significant projects at both the pilot and full-scale levels.
Bristol is particularly strong in the digital innovation category, which evaluates the city’s strategy to develop and exploit digital technologies and services, scoring the top mark of 92 out of a possible 100 points. It also comes out top for stakeholder engagement, implementation of projects and delivery of the city’s digital strategy.
The Huawei-supported report takes particular note of Bristol’s strengths in open data access, energy innovation and community engagement, using Playable City as an example.
Clare Reddington, Creative Director at Watershed says: “All over the world governments and technology companies are investing in smart systems for cities, using networks and sensors to join up services and collect data, as a drive for efficiency. Playable City is born out of Bristol’s unique take on people-centred technology solutions and the belief that our future cities need to be democratic, surprising and inclusive to remain relevant and engaging. We are delighted we have been able to take this uniquely Bristolian way of thinking and share it with the world.”
Rick Chapman, high tech sector specialist at Invest Bristol and Bath – the inward investment agency for the region, said: “To be named as the top city for digital innovation and one of only two smart city leaders in the UK is fantastic news for Bristol. This is testament to the city’s extensive smart city strategy and ambitious goals but also to its commitment to delivering on projects and working well with communities and stakeholders to make them happen. Bristol is fast becoming known as a national and international digital hub and this report cements our position as leading the UK in this sector.”
Earlier this year, Bristol was identified as the most productive digital tech cluster in the UK according to the Tech Nation report. It was also named the only fast-growing and globally-significant high tech cluster in the UK by McKinsey & Co/Centre for Cities in 2014.