The Mayor of London has called on the public and those in the tech industry to develop ideas to help boost smart city development.
Sadiq Khan has launched a ‘listening exercise’ to work alongside the Smart London Plan, which is still in development by the city’s Chief Digital Office Theo Blackwell.
The ‘listening exercise’ project aims to encourage the technology industry and members of the public to develop ideas that will encourage and support smart city development.
Khan’s new exercise focuses on five areas. The first is to improve collaboration between the public authorities across London and the technology sector. Secondly, the exercise size aims to encourage the sharing of data and building security and public trust into how it is used.
The third focus is improving the city’s connectivity and preparing for the use of 5G networks, which has been a heavily focused point for the UK’s Capital and the Government already. Fourthly, Khan wants to equip Londoners with adequate digital skills and remain open for future talent. Finally, the Mayor hopes to continue making London a leader in the use of open and inclusive technology.
“I’ve been clear in my ambition for London to become the world’s leading smart city – and I want to know how this technology is affecting Londoners’ lives and to understand in what ways we can build on this with new technologies in the future,” Khan said “We want London to be the global home of the data economy, to seize the benefits of new artificial intelligence, and inspire a new generation of inventors and developers to make our city even better.”
London was voted the best location across Europe for technology start-ups to develop and deploy their new businesses last year, which is something Khan aims to uphold for the coming year.
Khan said: “London’s thriving tech sector – already the envy of cities around the world – has a huge role to play here. They will have an important voice in developing the Smart London Plan and it’s these companies which will provide the necessary creativity to make these plans a reality.
“The capital’s public services have an excellent track record of breaking new ground with tech which makes a positive impact on people’s lives. Now my forthcoming Smart London Plan will show how data and digital technologies can deliver my vision for a more inclusive London.”
A bid for Transport for London (TfL) has also been supported by Khan and backed by a group of London councils, for funding to tackle internet ‘not spots’ across the UK and improve digital connectivity. If successful, the funding will be used to extend the planned full fibre optic connectivity on the underground.
Within the announcement, there were also plans focused on increasing smarter use of data to devise bus routes. This will be done by tracking the way Londoners move across the city.
The Smart London Plan, which the listening exercise is part of, will be developed in partnership with Bloomberg Associates and launched in June this year at London Tech Week.