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Peterborough’s one smart city

Peterborough’s one smart city

Beating off stiff competition, Peterborough was recently crowned Smart City of the Year 2015 in Barcelona. But what’s so clever about Peterborough and more importantly, what does this mean for people in the Hamptons?

Smart cities are gaining ground, in our imaginations and on our streets. As a constantly evolving concept, trying to define what constitutes a smart city can be somewhat tricky. But, what we do know is this: inspired by progressive thinking, smart cities are designed to promote better standards of living.

In smart cities, a wide range of enhancements are made to our civil infrastructure. They tend to feature new and improved transport solutions, better urban planning, greater energy saving initiatives, and more intelligent systems for information and communication.

To deliver a good quality of life, the powers that be in Peterborough have realised that smart infrastructures need to work not just for citizens, but with them.

The promise of smart, sustainable cities is much more likely to be fulfilled if the people living, working and playing there are listened to and encouraged to participate and collaborate in the development of their community.

Peterborough’s development of a circular economy, for example, which aims to use resources, energy and people more effectively, illustrates why it’s absolutely essential for local people to be placed at the centre of the drive for change.

It was Peterborough’s commitment to this circular economy strategy, along with its Environment Capital vision and collaborative approach to citizen involvement which convinced judges that the city should win the award.

Indeed, as one of the most successful developments within the Peterborough area, Hampton needn’t hold back in taking some credit for this outstanding achievement.

With its enviable reputation for safety, strong sense of community, resident involvement and a physical infrastructure that boasts excellent schools, green and open spaces, individually designed developments and popular sporting, cultural and retail facilities, Hampton has everything that most aspiring smart cities are working to achieve.

O&H Hampton’s general manager, Roger Tallowin, commented: “Hampton’s characteristics have played a key part in making it possible for Peterborough to hold its head up high on an international stage.

“The fact that significant issues such as environmental stewardship and community involvement helped win it for Peterborough is testament to all that the Hamptons epitomise.”

Peterborough received the Smart City of the Year award at the World Smart City Congress, on 18 November 2015. This year, the Barcelona-based congress worked with seven international experts to evaluate 265 entries from 52 countries. To give you a feel for the significance of the competition, the other major cities shortlisted for the award included Dubai and Moscow.

Peterborough is now continuing to focus on growth, innovation, skills and sustainability through the Peterborough DNA Smart City programme, which is testing ideas for a smarter city, led by the economic development company, Opportunity Peterborough, and Peterborough City Council.

Speaking about the award, Councillor John Holdich, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved and for the city of Peterborough.

“The city is full of innovative SMEs and the Peterborough DNA Smart City programme supports and encourages them to work together to take advantage of new technologies and new thinking to drive growth, sustainability and prosperity.”