TSB offers prize for area with best integrated city systems

A prize of £24m is being offered to the city or borough council that can demonstrate integrated city systems that improve the local economy, increase quality of life and reduce impact on the environment.

The prize is being offered through the ‘future city’ competition and 30 councils are to receive £50,000 each from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to complete feasibility studies.

According to a statement, the cities that have completed the feasibility studies will also be able to submit a 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.

Iain Gray, chief executive of the TSB, said: ‘We planned originally to fund 20 feasibility studies, but because of the number of high-quality initial proposals received from councils across the whole country we decided to increase the funding available so that 30 studies could be carried out. The results will be made public and we look forward to seeing some exciting future city demonstrator proposals.’

The feasibility study reports, and proposals for a large-scale demonstrator, must be submitted by 14 November 2012. After assessment and interviews, the winning proposal will be announced in January 2013.

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, while reducing the environmental footprint and increasing resilience to environmental change.

The city and borough councils that have each secured £50,000 funding for the feasibility studies include Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Cambridge, Camden, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Enfield, Glasgow, Ipswich, Leeds (working with Bradford), Leicester, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Nottingham, Peterborough, Plymouth, Salford, Sheffield, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swindon and Warrington.

The TSB is also establishing the Future Cities Catapult, which 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 TSB will arrange for monitoring and collection and the analysis of data from the demonstrator through the Future Cities Catapult.