The Forum is chaired by the Minister for Cities, Greg Clark and the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts. It will also include scientists and representatives from cities and business sectors.
Intelligent technology can improve life in urban environments by saving money, minimising waste, measuring domestic water usage and managing transport routes. The data allows people to access real time information in order to plan their daily lives, such as verifying available space on public transport or checking for car parking spaces, before leaving home.
According to a new report titled ‘Global Market Opportunities and UK Capabilities for future smart cities’ by Volker Buscher, the global value of the smart cities industry is expected to be over USD400bn globally by 2020 and it estimates that the UK will gain a 10% share of USD40bn.
Buscher, a director of Arup and a Smart Cities Forum member, said: “By 2050, the human population will have reached 9 billion people with 75% of the world’s inhabitants living in cities. Smart technologies can help address some of the challenges of rapid urbanisation by improving services and managing their efficiency.”
Investment in the smart cities sector is being supported by the UK government, including approximately GBP95m of research into smart cities funded by Research Councils UK; GBP50m over 5 years has been earmarked by the Technology Strategy Board in London for the new Future Cities Catapult centre; and GBP33m was invested in future city demonstrators earlier this year.
In addition, the government is funding transport projects to promote intelligent transport systems and smart ticketing; the roll out of telecare and telehealth in the NHS; and the introduction of smart meters by 2020.