Croydon’s future as a smart city and council plans to use technology and data to improve the experience of people visiting, living and working in the borough are to be outlined at cabinet this evening.
As the home of London’s fastest growing tech community, Croydon’s smart city programme will play a vital role in ensuring the council makes the best use of data and technology to make Croydon a better place to be, to improve efficiency and attract investment. As part of the wider Growth Zone programme, a number of projects which will help drive forward technology enabled solutions and create a connected environment are to be presented to cabinet.
The programme of projects includes improving digital connectivity to meet the needs of a growing population and business community, including the fast expanding tech community, by providing a faster, broader roll-out of high-speed services which will enable continued growth. The smart city programme will also explore the use of open data in the borough, data that anyone can access, use or share. Cities including London, Manchester and Glasgow are using open data to drive knowledge and growth.
Working with local partners including TMRW Tech Hub, Croydon Tech City and Sussex Innovation Centre, the project will consider the development of an open data platform and engagement programme that would see data used internally and externally to support the development of innovative solutions to local challenges.
Encouraging the development of an Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem in Croydon is also one of the key initiatives of the smart city programme. Using data and information from digital connected devices such as smart phones and sensors, IoT has a huge potential to transform how we live, move and work from smart parking solutions to air quality monitoring or independent living solutions. The council has partnered with Digital Catapult, a government funded body to create the conditions for Croydon to become the go-to place to develop and test innovative solutions. Other proposed actions include the council upgrading to a digital CCTV system and infrastructure and using technology to improve mobility and wayfinding to ensure seamless travel in the town centre and avoid disruption as major regeneration schemes get under way.
Councillor Mark Watson, Cabinet Member for Economy and Jobs, said: “Our vision is to use technology and innovation to overcome local challenges by developing solutions that benefit Croydon residents and visitors alike, while continuing to attract business growth. Implementing the smart city programme is the first step in helping Croydon realise its ambition of becoming a world-class digital and smart city, which will further contribute to a strong and sustainable local economy.”