William Eichler 05 July 2016

Councils not on track for smart city delivery, new research reveals

Local authorities are falling behind when it comes to smart city delivery, according to new research.

A study, commissioned by street lighting experts Lucy Zodion and conducted by independent research agency DJS Research, discovered many councils lack the budget, leadership and capability to progress smart initiatives and connected technology in cities across the UK.

Researchers contacted 187 councils from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and found over 80% had little to no involvement with smart cities and few had named smart city leads or teams managing smart implementation.

The study highlighted five major barriers to delivery: a lack of funding, a lack of internal prioritisation, a lack of evidence, insufficient collaboration, and a general lack of confidence amongst council leaders.

John Fox, managing director of Lucy Zodion, said: ‘Local authorities hold the key to unlocking the benefits of smart connected cities, yet this research has identified fundamental barriers to a consistent and cost-effective roll-out and significant differences to the approach to smart cities across the country.

‘It is evident that we need leadership to make smart cities work: leadership from government to provide a clearer path to delivery and leadership from local authorities to create an over-arching strategy to suit individual cities.

‘It is only when councils are able to make smart cities a strategic priority and work together to implement them efficiently, putting the citizen at the centre of their plans, will we be able to realise the potential of our future cities.’

We are holding a free webinar on the smart city revolution on 14 July. Sign up here to attend.

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