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October 23, 2017

Bristol takes London’s crown as smartest UK city

The UK's capital is overtaken as smartest city in the country, with Bristol being best in show.

By April Slattery

London is no longer the smartest city in the UK as Bristol takes the top spot in a new Smart Cities Index report.

A report commissioned by Huawei and carried out by Navigant Consulting has revealed that Bristol is now the leading smart city of the UK, after collaboration with various partners has driven innovation across the city.

Partnerships with organisations such as Universities, businesses and healthcare sectors have been key to the South West city gaining the status at the top of the table. Huawei’s report outlined the importance of these partnerships to bring smart initiatives to the city, working together.

One of the reasons why Bristol has climbed to the top of the table is after the launch of its project, ‘Bristol is Open’, which provides a connectivity test-bed and a new City Operations Centre that makes sure services are effectively carried out.

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said: “The digital revolution is gaining momentum all over the UK – smarter cities can improve people’s everyday lives from accessing healthcare to simplifying waste management and streamlining public services.

Bristol takes London’s crown as smartest UK city

Bristol top of the table for UK smart cities.

“We are backing smart cities and the recent review into Artificial Intelligence highlighted how we can establish ourselves as the world leader in this area of emerging technology.”

Huawei’s report looks at reasons why smart cities have improved so much over the last year, concluding that it is as a result of following the guidance given last year to focus on data-driven and environmental initiatives.

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Elements such as electric or hybrid cars, that are smart vehicles turning off when not needed to save fuel, reduce emissions and make the environment and city a better place.

Sir Andrew Cahn, Huawei UK Board, said:  “It’s clear from this report that cities across the UK have made considerable progress over the last year, developing and implementing strategies to improve the delivery of public services and the urban environment.

“The scale of progress throughout the country is represented by a doubling in the number of cities included in this year’s ranking index compared to 2016.”

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Partners are seemingly a key element to the success of a smart city, as Huawei reported partnerships have been a key aspect in encouraging smart city progress utilising connections and skills. Another important factor to the success of smart cities is government support, encouraging projects to go ahead.

Both Bristol and London were named ‘leaders’ but Bristol just took the edge and gained the top spot. Across the country, the most improved city is Manchester, climbing up to third from fifth in the top 10.

Huawei’s report looked at the strategies, key projects and ability to use digital technology to improve services across 20 UK cities to conclude the results.

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