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Exclusive: Smart cities – the holy trinity

March 10, 2023

Smart Cities Council, the world’s longest-standing, largest and most respected smart cities organisation, has just launched in the United Kingdom

The Smart Cities Council (SCC), the global umbrella for smart cities companies, practitioners and policymakers operates on three basic principles – ‘livability’, ‘workability’ and ‘sustainability’.
‘Livability’ delivers cities providing clean, healthy living conditions without pollution and congestion, embodying a digital infrastructure that makes city services instantly and conveniently available anytime, anywhere.
‘Workability’ aims to creates places and spaces which enable infrastructure — energy, connectivity, computing, essential services — to compete globally for high-quality jobs.
‘Sustainability’ will provide services without stealing from future generations.
Founded 11 years ago, with global headquarters in Washington DC, in the United States, and with operations globally, SCC has launched its UK operations in Manchester.
SCC and its associated global impact initiative, Everyone, brings together government, industry, academia, philanthropy and charity to create action and impact around the key challenges and opportunities facing cities and communities today.
The expansion of “smart” from place and infrastructure in the UK will include people, safety, beautification, enablement, sustainability resilience, equity, and inclusion.
SCC currently has operations across North America, Australia, New Zealand, India and Asaia and in the coming months is expanding its European presence to include Poland, Turkey, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Montenegro.

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‘Everyone by Smart Cities Council’ is a movement that creates opportunities for change through engagement, education, projects, and events centred around impact-focused task forces tackling local and global issues such as energy, the application of digital twin technology, cyber security, wellbeing, place-making, disadvantaged urban communities, and more.
The organisation says it already counts Amazon Web Services (AWS), EY, ENE.HUB, Aurecon and GHD among its 100-plus international membership and, in the UK, high profile organisations, such as global engineering services and digital infrastructure giant Valmont, life safety technology company Clevertronics, smart buildings dashboard provider Bueno Systems and digital transformation software innovator, Tr3dent, are foundation members of the UK Organisation, with UCLan, University of Lancaster as supporting academic partners.
Andrea Winders, a creative Manchester-based entrepreneur and expert in tech, infrastructure and place, has been appointed as the UK Executive Director. Winders’ career has crossed commercial and local government sectors at senior levels.
She said: “In our view, smart is not just for cities, it is for everyone, everywhere, connecting health, wellness, transport, energy, sea, air, parking and other everyday services without limitation, to improve lives and living for the majority, who by the way do not live in cities.
“There is a common misconception that smart cities are just about technology, data and infrastructure, but real smart is far more than this.
“For example, one of the first Impact Projects that Smart Cities Council UK is launching as part of its Everyone initiative has already started to work on is a solution to the present crisis in dentistry – definitely not a city, but most definitely smart.
“And although infrastructure does have a role in smart cities, it is far more important that the outputs are about people and put their needs first, not the other way around, which tends to be the case.”
A recent report about connected places in the UK, prepared for Department for Culture Media and Sport, indicated the smart cities market size is significant, with approximately 37,000 employees and a £3.6bn gross value added (GVA) in 2020.
More than 87% of the total market is infrastructure, transport, and built environment. Everyone by Smart Cities Council aims to expand the market further to include new opportunities and encourage solutions for problems experienced by people and places using technology and services.
The report also identified that there is a lack of interoperability between technologies and devices creating a large barrier to connecting places and integration of services, another problem Everyone by Smart Cities Council wants to decipher, discuss, and redress.
Corey Gray, Global CEO, said, “For more and more companies ROI now means Return on Impact.
“As long-time protagonists in this space two things have become clear over time: First, that there is a big difference between a Smart City and a City that is Smart, second, Smart Cities are about people and place, not just tech and data.
“Successful smart cities and communities are inevitably human-centric, data-driven and sometimes technology-enabled, for the benefit of everyone.
“Whilst commentary has a place, we want to get out of the commentary box and on the pitch playing, and we invite everyone to join us. There are no competitors when it comes to making the world a better place for future generations.”

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