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Leading the Way on Citizen Engagement

20th January 2016

The Future Cities Catapult has been selected to lead on citizen engagement for the 'Sharing Cities' Lighthouse programme.

We will be joining organisations including Imperial College and Siemens to deliver work packages as part of the ‘The ‘Sharing Cities’ Lighthouse programme which will see Royal Borough of Greenwich used as a testing ground for new technology to deliver a better future for local people.

Claire Mookerjee, Head of Urban Futures at Future Cities Catapult: “Future Cities Catapult is committed to putting people at the heart of innovation.  Our approach to user-centred design is why we’re so excited to be leading on citizen engagement for Sharing Cities. We’ll be making sure that citizens in each of the cities are included in the creation and development of these new types of services and that feedback will be integrated so that services are constantly updated, iterated and improved.”

As part of the wider £19m project cities across Europe will demonstrate how innovative uses of technology can improve the lives of their residents. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich has been chosen to take part in the Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse programme which aims to develop solutions to challenges faced by all major cities as they continue to grow and develop.

Initiatives taking place in Greenwich include:

  • Trialling 300 smart parking bays that aim to optimise parking spaces and help drivers find a space quickly and conveniently.
  • Testing shared electric bikes to see if these support a shift from private cars, while electric vehicles will be piloted for local deliveries and car sharing.
  • Using the River Thames as a renewable energy source to provide affordable heat to local homes. A heat pump will be used to increase the water temperature before being piped through a heat network for space heating and domestic hot water use in local homes. This will improve air quality by avoiding the need to use boilers and provide lower energy bills for residents.
  • Installing solar panels on homes to provide green energy and improve energy efficiency. The supply and demand of energy will be locally managed by energy partners involved in the programme via state-of-the-art digital technology that will also reduce energy bills and carbon emissions.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP said: “London is growing at a record rate and to support the city’s future growth, we need to harness our incredible technical prowess and look to what new approaches and technological innovation can bring. By leading this ground-breaking international project we will be able to share ideas with our European counterparts as we work to create a city that is fit for the future and an even greater place to live, work and visit.”

Similar projects will be put to the test in the cities of Milan, Lisbon, Warsaw, Bordeaux and Burgas and could eventually be rolled-out across Europe. The project will also develop a new model of sharing data across cities to make the best use of encyclopaedic amount of information that can be used to change the way cities, their communities and services work. This will deliver a common data sharing platform that can be used by all the programme cities and beyond.


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