Smart Sheffield Lab

Between September 2014 and February 2015 I led an exercise to explore what a Sheffield smart city strategy could look like. This work was commissioned by the Sheffield Executive Board (as it was then known) and Sheffield First Partnership, and consisted of three major strands:

  1. Looking at existing research and smart city indices to determine a scope of applications for smart urban technology.
  2. Looking at other UK and European cities to evaluate their published strategies and programmes, and compare their different identities.
  3. Interviews with a large number of local organisations and individuals – public sector, academics and firms both large and small – to gather opinions and to begin to map out historic, current and desired initiatives in the city, as well as analyse cross-cutting factors.

The resulting draft report was intended to form the jumping off point for a deeper and more specific strategy.

It consisted of four core components:

  • An articulated local identity that ties Sheffield’s past and future vision to its strengths and concerns.
  • A framework that describes the domains in which smart innovation can and should be underway, and serves to map projects.
  • A set of cross-cutting themes that describe concepts of particular relevance to local urban innovations across all application domains.
  • An example road-map showing active and proposed local smart city initiatives.

This work was presented to the city in February 2015, and has formed an important underpinning for driving Sheffield’s smart ambitions since, and was an important reason Sheffield was ranked 10th in the first Huawei UK Smart Cities Index in 2016.

You can read about this work and the original draft report at the SmartSheffield website, here.