Technology Strategy Board offers future cities funding

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British cities are being invited 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.

Technology Strategy Board funding 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.

According to a statement, the Future Cities Demonstrator programme, which opens today, invites local governments and local authorities to bid for one of 20 £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 in funding to implement its 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.’

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 quality of life, while 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.