Smart Cities, 3rd May 2016
Posted by APM on 3rd Jun 2016
The UK Cities Director at Arcadis UK, Richard Bonner, presented an introduction to the ‘Smart City’ to members of the Midlands Branch at the Hilton Garden Inn, Brindley Place, Birmingham.
Richard started by asking what the term ‘Smart City’ meant to members, and what it means specifically to Project Management practitioners. There are many differing views on the actual definition, but Richard explained how the view has moved from a purely technological standpoint to a more holistic view – treating the people within the city as ‘citizens’.
In looking at the challenges to the modern-day city, Richard highlighted the change in retail behaviour to more on-line shopping resulting in not only the disappearance of high street stores, but the less obvious need for technology on public transport based upon the evidence that online-retailers report the busiest time of day is the commuting time of 5pm-6.30pm.
The assumption that the Smart City will only benefit the ‘millennial’ generation was also challenged as Richard described advances in technology that provided better support for care home patients. ‘The key to the right blend of Smart City’, Richard said, ‘is technology + people.’
Richard added that with the number of devices increasing exponentially, it is people that drive the social, environmental and technological change in the city. The video https://youtu.be/pqYg219CiKA showing how Bristol is trying to achieve this was shown.
Birmingham, Richard concluded, is at the forefront of the movement being both at the heart of a £94 billion regional economy and located within 4 miles of the rest of the UK. With the ‘Big City Plan’, HS2, New Street Grand Central and more projects in the City planned, ‘Digital Birmingham’ is becoming a reality.
Adrian Turner, Midlands Branch Volunteer.
Copy of the presentation can be viewed below or on the APM resources page: