Bids invited to become the cities of tomorrow

Bids invited to become the cities of tomorrow

11 Jun 2012

Cities across the UK are today being invited by the Government to compete for £24 million to demonstrate how they could integrate their transport, communications and other city infrastructure to improve the local economy, increase quality of life and reduce impact on the environment.

The funding, from the government’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, will be awarded to the city or urban area in the UK that submits the best proposal for a large scale ‘future cities demonstrator’, showing how the city’s multiple systems will be integrated and how challenges in the city will be addressed.

The Future Cities Demonstrator programme, which opens today, invites local governments and local authorities to bid for one of twenty £50,000 grants to carry out a feasibility study to develop their demonstrator project proposal.  The cities that have completed the feasibility study will then be invited to submit a proposal for the large scale demonstrator – and one successful city will be awarded £24m funding to implement their proposal.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

“People and technology are developing and changing all the time, and we can’t expect our cities to stand still while that is happening. Cities face major challenges such as changes in population and demographics, congestion, waste and pressure on resources and services.  This underlines the need for our future cities to have high-quality, integrated infrastructure to meet these challenges.

“There is great potential for Britain to lead the way in this area and that’s why this programme is so important. I’m looking forward to hearing about the bids which cities put forward and seeing what the city of the future may look like.”

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said:

“In the future there will be a large market for innovative approaches to delivering efficient, attractive and resilient cities.  We have world-leading companies in areas such as project    management, engineering, architecture, energy and transport systems, communications and the  digital economy.  The UK has a world-class science and research base that supports the    development of innovative solutions and provides a talent pool for UK and global firms, so we are well-positioned to exploit the growing market.”

The future cities demonstrator project will demonstrate, at scale and in use, the additional value that can be created by integrating a city’s systems.  The project will enable businesses to test - in practice - new solutions for connecting and integrating individual city systems, and will allow cities to explore new approaches to delivering a good local economy and excellent quality of life, whilst reducing the environmental footprint and increasing resilience to environmental change.

The competition is for cities or equivalent local authorities responsible for an urban area with at least 125,000 residents.  The commitment of the city government or local authority to the demonstrator is essential for its success and project proposals must be submitted by the city or local authority.

The Technology Strategy Board is also establishing the Future Cities Catapult – which is a world-leading technology and innovation centre.  It will help UK businesses to create products and services that meet the needs of the world’s cities as they adapt to future demands.  The Technology Strategy Board will arrange for ongoing monitoring and collection & analysis of data through the Future Cities Catapult.

For further information about the Future Cities Demonstrator programme please visit: Future Cities Demonstrator

View the press release including notes to editors here


Last updated on Monday 11 June 2012 at 16:31

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