From one of the UK's four Future City Demonstrators to winning Smart City of the Year, Peterborough hosted an event for city leaders, academics and industry experts from across the UK to share this journey, the success and the lessons learnt.
‘Making Smart Cities More Human' was the title of a one-day conference held at the Allia Future Business Centre, co-hosted by Innovate UK and Peterborough DNA, Peterborough's Future Cities programme, delivered in partnership with Opportunity Peterborough and Peterborough City Council.
Future City Programmes have become increasingly popular in some of the world's leading cities to help understand and address the increasing complexity of city life and its management. In the UK, Innovate UK launched the Future Cities Demonstrator programme and awarded Peterborough a £3million grant to discover the value that could be delivered to a city through integrating city services and systems.
Showcasing Peterborough's citizen centric approach, delegates heard about the projects and initiatives that have been delivered in the three years since the programme commenced and the value added for businesses, future skills and the city being named Smart City of the Year at the Smart City World Congress Awards at the Smart City Expo in Barcelona in November 2015.
Moving forward beyond the Demonstrator, delegates heard about Peterborough's Circular City and Digital City aspirations which also included ‘Question and Answer' Panel Sessions with some of the leading people in the respective fields including representatives from Greater London Authority, Forum for the Future, Cranfield University and BGL Group.
Steve Bowyer, Chief Executive of Opportunity Peterborough and Programme Director of Peterborough DNA, said; ‘Peterborough is really creating a name for itself in the world of smart cities, however I'm often asked what exactly is a smart city and why is it relevant to me? In a nutshell it's about connecting places, spaces, people and services in better and more intelligent ways, embracing technology as a way of achieving greater things.