Bristol is Open
Similarly, in Bristol, city management authorities and citizens are implementing technologies beyond purely tackling issues like productivity, efficiency and traffic. When it comes to smart cities, "we hardly ever talk about play," says Stephen Hilton, Director of Bristol Futures Global Ltd.
Bristol is a "creative, open, quirky, unorthodox sort of place," says Hilton. Bringing out the city's character is important. He stressed smart cities should not be implemented by a top-down blueprint but should respect each city's unique culture and character.
"Bristol's take is to harness all that potential for innovation and creativity and apply it to a local place to make it more distinctive, creative, fun, engaging and inclusive."
The city has implemented smart technologies in the intersection between creativity, media and technology, such as the Playable Cities program, which works with creatives and artists to use city infrastructure to create experiences that connect people, particularly younger generations, to the city and inspire them.
swipe > 1 of 8
Safer and more efficient autonomous vehicles, relying on high-bandwidth mobile networks for data sharing.
We The Curious (At-Bristol)
An experiential indoor venue that invites school children to explore the endless possibilities that can happen when boundaries between science, art, people and ideas are removed. A "Data Dome" takes viewers through a journey of real-time city data visualization.
Smart Energy Management
Deliver energy and infrastructure projects that benefit the social, economic and environmental health of the city, partners, and the region. Such as, renewable installations (wind, solar, tidal), energy efficiency, low carbon heat networks, smart energy, marine energy and managing energy usage.
Air Quality and Weather
Bristol's citizens are able to monitor individual exposure to air pollutants using services and applications.
Design and visualization experience that promises to engage people within cities using creative technology to playfully rethink public spaces.
With the city as a test lab, researchers are able to study and develop telecommunication, software, hardware, data and sensing technologies.
Engine Shed Connection
An enterprise hub providing workspace for a range of high-tech, creative and low-carbon businesses.
Distributed sensors across the city will supply the network with information about city life - energy, air quality, temperature, humidity and traffic flows. Bristol University's supercomputing and cloud infrastructure are able to conduct real-time analysis of information flows and provide accessible data for development of applications and services to improve city life.
One such program is Hello Lamposts, where people talk to street furniture and the street furniture 'talk' back through text.
"We're using technology to bring people into a conversation about the city and to consider opportunities to do things differently and think differently," says Hilton. "It creates a collective experience of a place that's different."
It was also crucial Bristol be able to use data to address pressing societal issues, enable citizens to interact with the council and benefit from public services. The ultimate goal was to tackle challenges such as social isolation and healthcare in a non-invasive and stress-free way.
"Bristol has always been a distinctive smart city because we place citizens at the heart of our strategy and take a playful and engaging approach to tackling serious urban challenges," says Hilton.
It is this very distinctive culture of collaboration and the coming together of different skills and perspectives that has created some very unique values for Bristol. The result of which is that the people feel like they have a stake in the decisions that are being made in the journey to becoming a smart city.
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said: "The challenges we face to beat congestion, support vulnerable people in their homes and secure safer streets require new approaches and new ways of working. Blending state-of-the-art technology and a collaborative approach to sharing operations, we're taking a positive step towards meeting these challenges."
The Perfect Collaboration
Bristol City Council collaborated with NEC and Bristol University to equip the city with the latest sensor and smart city technology. NEC developed the Cloud City Operation Center (CCOC), a smart city platform and consolidated dashboard supporting the data utilization of city management. It is also linked to the city's fiber network and is combined with the university's £12m supercomputer that powers the network.
This allows the center to explore communications and data that could eventually provide services such as health protection and assisted living. The efforts are paying off; a 2017 UK Smart Cities Index placed Bristol ahead of London. Hilton adds, "Bristol's reputation has evolved in the last decade. They're widely recognised as a place for people to visit and start a new enterprise."
swipe > 1 of 3
1 of 3
Four node active network
Providing full fibre connection with ultra-fast speeds connecting 4 network nodes - We The Curious, Watershed, Engine Shed and University of Bristol. Providing local businesses a digital head start over competitors.
2 of 3
Wireless heterogenous network along Brunel Mile area of Bristol providing Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, 5G and LTE experiments.
3 of 3
IoT Meshed Lamp-post Clusters
Could potentially solve issues around traffic congestion, smart parking, smart lighting, smart roads, improve communications for emergency services and waste management. 2400 lamp posts connected via a range of radio frequency - enabling data flow into open places and able to accommodate a large number of sensors distributed throughout the city.