London has been crowned as the UK’s smartest city based on strategy and execution efforts in IOT projects.
The capital ranked first with an overall score of 80.5 points out of 100, while Bristol was the runner up in Huawei’s UK Smart Cities Index with a score of 80.2.
The Chinese telco labelled the second batch of cities as "contenders". These include Birmingham in third place with 77.9 points, followed by Glasgow (75.1), Manchester (74.2), Milton Keynes (72.5), Leeds (70.5) and Peterborough (68.2).
In ninth and tenth place respectively, as ‘challengers’, are Nottingham (51.8) and Sheffield (38.1).
The rankings were calculated after each city was analysed on ten criteria within their strategy and execution, covering areas such as their smart vision, objectives, implementation record, environmental impact, digital innovation, stakeholder engagement and community reach.
According to research commissioned by Huawei UK and conducted by Navigant Consulting, the top two cities are the best at using digital technology to improve city services from their transport infrastructure to their refuse collection.
In terms of smart city vision, Birmingham ranked the highest with 92 points. Bristol comes up as second, with 84 and London scored 78, the same as Milton Keynes.
However, when it comes to implementation, Bristol ranked the highest at 85 points, followed by London and Glasgow with 80.
The study highlights that London’s successes include its congestion charge scheme and other transport innovations and the London Datastore.
Bristol’s achievements include the "Bristol Is Open" project, which has brought together the University of Bristol, Bristol City Council and industry partners to create a city-scale network for innovation.
In Birmingham, for example, its plans to make East Birmingham a testbed for smart technology have also helped the city rank third overall.
The study has also looked into a fourth category of cities, dubbed as ‘followers’, which are developing smart city plans and projects, however not at the same scale as the top ten.
‘Followers’ include cities like, in no particular order, Belfast, Cambridge, Ipswich, Brighton, Newcastle, Reading and Oxford.
The report also highlights the role the UK Government has played in building momentum behind smart cities through the Future Cities and IoT demonstration programmes which has provided important seed funding for winning cities.
Huawei has also called upon cities to strengthen emphasis on future demonstration projects both measurable outcomes and sound business cases, as well as encouraging wider collaboration and knowledge sharing between UK cities.
Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, said: "I hope [this index] will encourage city leaders to share best practice and promote competition, because smarter use of data and technology drives growth and delivers a better quality of life.
"The Government strongly supports the Smart Cities sector, through the Future Cities Catapult and the Internet of Things City Demonstrator programme, and we welcome this report."
Gordon Luo, Huawei UK CEO, said: "From Bristol’s open data strategy to Milton Keynes’s pilots of autonomous vehicles, there are excellent smart cities projects all over the UK.
"The Huawei UK Smart Cities Index shows that, right now, Britain is one of the most advanced countries in Europe in this field."
Yet, Luo said that it is still early days and there is more work to do to build more effective partnerships between city authorities and technology providers, and in making the benefits of smart city technology apparent to a greater number of citizens.