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UK’s ‘smartest’ street to debut at Great Exhibition of the North
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UK’s ‘smartest’ street to debut at Great Exhibition of the North

Posted by Zenobia HegdeJune 7, 2018

Mosley Street in Newcastle is claimed to have been the first street in the world to use electric lighting, and now more than a century on, it is set to achieve another feat as the UK’s ‘smartest’ street.

Announced by CiscoNewcastle City CouncilConnexinMayflower and Quantela, throughout the Great Exhibition of the North, Mosley Street and the connecting Neville Street will be home to Internet of Things (IoT) sensors that will help showcase the amazing possibilities that smart places create for people living and working in them.

The project will combine live and historic data on the street from several sources, including Newcastle University’s Urban Observatory, home of the UK’s largest set of real-time urban data, to showcase the value of connecting data for the benefit of individuals, organisations and the city. For example, combined insight into pollution, waste disposal and traffic data will allow the city to make decisions to help improve the environmental health of the area. 

From 22nd June until 9th September, visitors to Newcastle will be able to experience a number of applications of smart city technology. These will be available either at the smart street installation, or through data displayed on screens throughout the city and integrated with the exhibition wayfinding App. All of the applications are facilitated by Cisco Kinetic for Cities, which provides one platform for all smart city use cases.

Use cases include:

  • Solving the parking conundrum: Using data trends to predict whether you’ll be able to find a parking spot on the road.
  • Less time idling with traffic forecasting: Using historic and real-time data to interpret patterns and support traffic management by generating short and long-term traffic forecasts.
  • Cleaner air with pollution analysis: Collecting and analysing environmental data to help find the causes of pollution, with the aim of dramatically reducing its effect in the area.
  • Less wastage for refuse collections: Using historic data to help refuse operators manage waste disposal more productively, ensuring the streets are clean and the impact on the environment is minimised.
  • Lighting the way with dynamic street lighting: Using predictive analytics to enable power companies to manage power consumption more effectively and improve safety with lighting.
  • Avoiding the pitfalls of potholes: Using artificial intelligence (AI) and video analytics to predict the effect of traffic on the road surface, providing evidence for the Council to consider for preventative maintenance.

A thriving city with digital ambition, focussed on being a great place to live, work and invest, Newcastle, like many other cities, is faced with a broad spectrum of challenges – including how to increase productivity, manage traffic and prevent environmental degradation. Today’s announcement highlights the role that digital technology can play in creating a Connected Newcastle that is intelligent, innovative and inclusive.

Cllr Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council said: “It is fantastic that Cisco has chosen Newcastle for the location of their most comprehensive smart street in the UK. The fact that the world’s largest networking company has selected our city for such a pioneering venture puts us firmly at the heart of modern Britain.

It is also testament to Newcastle’s growing skills base in digital technology and data analytics, and an example of our commitment to use innovation to help make people’s lives better. It is fitting that Cisco is launching their smart street during the Great Exhibition of the North – a celebration of the North’s inventive spirit, marking the next phase for the North’s future”.

The head of Smart Cities and IoT, Cisco UK and Ireland, Stu Higgins said: “Newcastle has innovation in its DNA, and we are thrilled to be working with Newcastle City Council and our partners to create the UK’s smartest street, and to build on the pioneering innovation which took place on Mosley Street over a century ago. The creation of smart places through the deployment of Internet of Things solutions brings amazing possibilities to enhance the lives of people living and working in a place. It is this type of innovation which is crucial to the UK cementing itself as a global digital leader.”

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