Smart cities hub launched to bring together sustainable technologies

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Stakeholders invested in creating clean, sustainable environments will now benefit from a new cross-sector smart cities hub

The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) has unveiled a new smart cities hub. The platform, which was launched last week at AECOM’s offices, will bring together those utilising smart technologies to create sustainable environments by fostering an atmosphere of collaboration.

The hub, SustainableSmartCities.org, aims to promote best practice in the field by bringing together industry experts.

EIC Executive Director Matthew Farrow said: “This initiative meets a real need: bringing together a disparate market; matching cities facing environmental challenges with new, innovative solutions; and providing an evidence base to unlock investment.

“As a neutral industry broker, EIC is bringing together all the key stakeholders that make this market work, to share best practice, open up new collaborations, and improve the quality of life of citizens living in cities at home and around the world.”

This will be achieved by sharing case studies and best practice through the platform; connecting stakeholders through networking opportunities; providing thought-leadership; and lobbying policymakers to develop regulatory frameworks.

The initiative will be sponsored by AECOM, Bird & Bird, and the Institute for Environmental Analytics. It took three years to develop with assistance of stakeholders and research from EIC.

Alex Tosetti, Head of Smart Cities & Operations Director, AECOM said the smart cities hub will be highly beneficial to the sector.

“SustainableSmartCities.org is the solution to years of isolated smart cities work, helping to bridge the distance between pockets of knowledge, practical experience, strategic investments, political support and more,” he said.

“This collaboration will best ensure that our cities will leverage smart technologies or big data to create a cleaner, greener and more sustainable world.”

Sustainability challenges

Cities undoubtedly face major challenges to improve sustainability and become greener. The built environment is a major contributor to emissions and as such must find ways to reduce this. The UK is seeking to lower carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2025 and 80 per cent by 2050 from a 1990 baseline. This initiative will help cities by bringing together key players committed to sustainable technologies and big data.

Michael Rudd, Partner at Bird & Bird LLP said: “Throughout the world, cities face complex challenges to become sustainable and smarter but are also ideally placed to drive investment, deploy innovation and offer the right scale for pilot projects.

“In EIC’s 2014 sustainable smart cities report it recommended a multi-faceted strategy to unlock the potential for sustainable smarter cities, including raising awareness of the challenges and opportunities to achieve this.

“SustainableSmartCities.org is an important platform to capture and share smart city case studies and other resources.”

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