Research points to widespread ignorance of the UK’s smart city initiatives

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According to a recent survey conducted by communications infrastructure and media services company Arqiva and YouGov, 96% of people in the UK are not aware of any “smart city” initiatives being run by their local city council in the last year. This comes despite increasing investment on a local and national level across the UK.

Key Statistics

When asked about the key problems faced by their nearest city, the top three most selected issues amongst respondents were:

  • Traffic congestion – 57%
  • Finding a parking space – 43%
  • Feeling safe in public areas and streets – 38%

Comparatively, when naming the smart technologies they most want their local council to invest in, the top three priorities were:

  • Smart traffic management – 33%
  • Sensors on street lighting – 19%
  • Waste management/sensors that monitor levels of pollution – 9%

Specifically exploring the issues associated with traffic congestion:

  • 62% of respondents said they would go into their nearest town centre more frequently if they knew a parking space was guaranteed
  • Almost one in four (24%) complained of experiencing congestion issues with their daily commute at least three times a week

When thinking about smart cities:

  • 29% of respondents pointed to a better living environment for residents as the greatest benefit of a connected city, while 16% felt the greatest benefit would be the additional jobs created
  • Almost one in four (23%) however were unclear on any one main benefit
  • 24% advised that they felt passionate about their nearest city becoming smart
  • But almost half (48%) still felt that smart cities in the UK are further than five years away

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