Smart cities
Smart cities

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Smart cities

Week 5: Innovation and enterprise


Lorraine starts this week with some impressive facts and figures on the smart city market.

You’ve seen what smart cities are, why they exist and what makes them successful. But who funds them, and what is the data economy? And have you thought about the ways that data can enable society to participate in tackling major issues through social innovation? An example is citizens contributing to cancer research through computer games using shared data.

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Over 80 percent of economic activity is generated in cities. The global market for smart city solutions and the additional services required to deploy them is estimated to be nearly 260 billion pounds by 2020. There is huge potential for solutions such as smart meters, intelligent transport systems, smart lighting and public safety applications. Such innovations are underpinned by developments in areas such as wireless communications, sensor networks, data analytics and cloud computing. A smart city can be thought of as an ecosystem of organisations, activities and stakeholders that make it smart. Organisations involved range from technology suppliers, to start-ups, Universities, to policy makers in government, and citizens.
Smart city solutions generate and use huge amounts of data, which can drive economic growth, innovation and the creation of new companies and jobs. Many governments around the world are pursuing open data policies to improve service efficiency as well as transparency and accountability. By nurturing a thriving ecosystem of open data providers and users cities can play a key role in innovation and economic growth. For example bringing developers and citizens together through hackathons to co-create solutions to city problems. Social innovators are using open data to solve some of the major issues cities and society face.
For example Cancer research is being revolutionised through the power of the public by creating computer games that draw in hundreds of thousands of gamers to identify one type of cell from another. As we enter the fourth [fifth] week of this course we'll also be looking at one of the biggest questions facing this revolution. As exciting as it is to discuss the opportunities that smart cities can bring they won't get off the ground or be sustained without funding. A factor which is often overlooked with smart cities is how we will finance them?
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In this crucial week you will meet users, suppliers and funders. You will engage with risk, open data and civic hackers. You will move forward your own smart cities project by learning about finance and open data business models, and by weighing up the benefits of hackathons and digital social innovation.

By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • discuss smart city opportunities and how they can be financed
  • explore how data-driven innovation contributes to economic growth in smart cities
  • identify ways in which digital social innovation can contribute to smart cities.

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