Laura Sharman 03 December 2015

Manchester scopes £10m to become 'smart city'

Talking bus stops and sensors in parks to encoruage people to do more excerise will soon be seen throughout Manchester thanks to £10m grant.

The CityVerve Project has been chosen as the winner of the government’s Internet of Things competition. The funding will see technology installed across Manchester in a bid to create a ‘smarter city’.

The plans include talkative bus stops to let operators know people are waiting for a bus, air quality monitors on street furniture, sensors in parks and along commuter routes to encourage people to do more physical activity, a secure bike sharing service, a biometric sensor network and smart lighting.

Sensors will also be added to streetlamps, vehicles and home heating equipment to analysis data and improve services.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: ‘I’m delighted that Manchester has been selected as the UK demonstrator city to test and demonstrate how the imaginative use of smart technology can make a real positive difference to our people and businesses. The lessons learned from this project should benefit the country as a whole.

‘The pioneering work Manchester is doing on devolution, finding innovative ways to respond to local needs and priorities, makes us the perfect test bed for this work.

'Our plans are firmly focussed on creating the conditions for economic growth and helping connect people with the opportunities created - whether that’s helping them to monitor their own health to help avoid preventable illness or giving them improving transport information to help them move around the city more easily.’

The CityVerve project will showcase how the application of Internet of Things technologies can improve services in four areas: healthcare; transport; energy and environment; and culture and community.

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