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Milton Keynes joins government’s Smart Cities Forum


The borough has been invited, along with Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow and Leeds, to work with the forum, co-chaired by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts and Cities Minister Greg Clark.
The aim of the Forum is to help the UK’s metropolitan hubs harness intelligent technology to learn about and manage resources such as energy, water, street lighting, and transport capacity in cities. 
Milton Keynes already has a strong track record in the area. The council is working closely with key partners including the Open University, which recently secured £8 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England to develop the MK:SMART hub.
The hub will draw together key city information on energy, transport and water use, among other sources, to create a picture of how Milton Keynes’ systems work and how they could be improved. It is already considering a real time city mobility map which will help people make smart transport choices and avoid congestion.
Earlier in 2013, Government announced a £150 million Transport Systems Catapult would be opened in Milton Keynes, to research and test new and innovative ways of improving transport and infrastructure. The lessons learned are likely to have worldwide impact.
Cllr David Hopkins, cabinet member responsible for economic development and enterprise, said: “Milton Keynes’ smart cities credentials are very strong indeed.
“We have electric cars, we’ll soon have electric buses, we’re going to be piloting driverless ‘pods’ and we have people using the latest technology in their homes to use energy more efficiently and reduce the carbon footprint.
“The fact that we keep winning funding and other investment shows that government and industry alike rightly have faith in Milton Keynes as a place for innovation and business growth.”