Social value, procurement and a smart city vision

“Smart cities are cities that utilise the Internet and Digital Technology to enhance the quality of life, performance of services and reduce costs by optimising energy consumption. The focus is on creating a framework with good connectivity and access to real time information for setting up an efficient management system that establishes a relationship between citizens, service providers and administrators.

It ensures that citizens actively engage in improving the overall productivity and sustainability of services by equipping cities with basic infrastructure” (Aakash, 2017). Smart Cities market is projected to grow from $ 386.55 billion (€311.28 billion) in 2014 to $ 1,386.56 billion (€1116.57 billion) in 2020, at a CAGR of 20.48% over the forecast period (Aakash, 2017).

In summary:

The application of a wide range of electronic and digital technologies to communities and cities.
The use of ICT to transform life and working environments within the region.
The embedding of such ICTs in government systems.
The territorialisation of practices that brings ICTs and people together, to enhance the innovation and knowledge that they offer (Aakash, 2017).

The smart city model can focus on a variety of areas: public transport, green spaces, waste collection and social sustainability, says Brian Bishop, CEO, Data Performance Consultancy Limited.

London is driving smart innovation in areas such as public transport through working with start-up companies like CityMapper (CityMapper, 2017).

Bristol created the Smart Energy City Collaboration to capture, analyse and act on smart energy data for the benefit of people and businesses across the city (Cse, 2017). Manchester has established a “smart quarter” (Triangulum) to pursue the objective of becoming one of the largest knowledge driven low carbon districts in Europe (Triangulum, 2017).

It is important to realise the relevance of the community and therefore not isolate or create “silos of data” as has been the practices over decades of government services. The word “Interoperability” must now be the focus of delivery and this should run through to all services across a region.

Through the introduction of a Smart City infrastructure the ability to strategically manage city wide services becomes more sustainable, “Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organised, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.” (Pollard)

By facilitating this you could then deliver any future potential devolution plans. This will also allow for continual improvement strategies and build the world’s first true Smart City and the benchmark for all cities to follow. Procurement needs to be the central pillar that you build this around.

ONS (2016) report the public sector spends approximately £268 billion (€303.96 billion) per year, equivalent to 14% of GDP. Taking a strategic approach to government procurement presents the opportunity to support investment in innovation and skills, strengthen UK supply chains, and increase competition – by creating more opportunities for SMEs. This means creating the right conditions to put UK supply chains in the strongest possible position to compete for contracts based on best value for the taxpayer.

The public sector can use its demand – particularly when its needs are novel or complex […]

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