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Report hails Milton Keynes a ‘Smart City’ pioneer

The second UK Smart Cities Index, commissioned by Huawei UK and conducted by Navigant Consulting, ranks Milton Keynes sixth in the country and one of 12 ‘contender’ cities. The overall leader in the report is Bristol, followed by London.

Milton Keynes is one of the first UK cities to make a strong commitment to develop and implement a network based on IoT technology, the report says.

MK:Smart has further established itself as being a primary location for the development and testing of new city technologies and services under new funding arrangements.

An additional investment of £500,000 from the council aims to support the development and maintenance of the core infrastructure and the Data Hub portal for the next two years. 

Milton Keynes Council leader Pete Marland said: “We are pleased to see Milton Keynes been recognised for two consecutive years as sixth in the top 20 smart cities in the UK.

“Looking forward, a key challenge MK:Smart aims to overcome is to move to larger-scale deployments, beginning with the Vivacity parking and traffic management systems, and to accelerate local adoption of successful solutions.

“To do so, we are also looking forward to extending our relationship with partners including BT, Huawei and Tech Mahindra to lead Milton Keynes to economic growth, reduce carbon emissions and improve services in the city.” 

Transport and urban mobility is one of the key focus areas of innovation for Milton Keynes under its Cloud-Enabled Mobility concept.

The project aims to connect users with real-time local travel data to reduce time and traffic congestion.

The public access this information under the new city-wide app known as MotionMap.

Overall the report highlights how MK:Smart is looking at ways to improve energy efficiency in the city.

Several initiatives are already under way or recently completed, including the FALCON smart grid project, a comprehensive EV charging infrastructure network, wireless induction charging for bus services and a district heating system.

Huawei UK director Sir Andrew Cahn said: “The successful cities of the future are going to be smart cities.

"It is clear from this report that cities across the UK have made considerable progress over the last year, developing and implementing strategies to improve the delivery of public services and the urban environment.”

The report is based on evaluations of 20 cities and their strategies, key projects and overall readiness in using digital technology to improve crucial civic services from transport infrastructure to healthcare.

Milton Keynes ranks as a contender city alongside others including Manchester, Aberdeen, Leeds, Oxford, Glasgow, Nottingham, Peterborough, Cambridge, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Newcastle. 

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