Developing a smart city cluster across four Berkshire authorities
The smart city cluster project is a £1.73 million internet of things (IoT) smart city project. It was funded by the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVBLEP) through Reading Borough Council as lead authority. The project brings together four neighbouring unitary authorities—Reading, Wokingham, West Berkshire, and Bracknell Forest Councils—and is being delivered over two years.
The project was developed by Stantec as partnership consultants to Reading Borough Council (RBC) with the overarching aim to develop the smart cities agenda in Berkshire. There are three main elements: firstly, to prioritise the smart city approach within the authorities and encourage cross-authority and cross-sector working. Secondly, the project aimed to act as a catalyst for local enterprises to innovate solutions that help local authorities meet their service delivery challenges, and thirdly we worked to deploy an area wide LoRa low-powered wide area communication network for the deployment of IoT devices to cover the population.
Through a series of workshops run by Stantec, the project has successfully raised awareness and support for a smart cities approach across the authorities and has awarded nine £100,000 innovative pilots which are being delivered by enterprises working with the local authorities. These pilots have included reducing falls in the elderly population, reducing social isolation for the elderly, improving energy efficiency in offices, making public transport more accessible for the elderly, and encouraging sustainable travel to schools.
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