IBM unveils a vision for UK Cities

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LONDON, UK - 16 Apr 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveils a vision of the future for Britain’s cities in a series of short Smarter Cities films entitled Cities: Our journey to a smarter future. The films provide an insight into how UK cities can become more efficient, positively impact quality of life, create business opportunities and deliver financial benefits.  

The short films highlight some of the challenges UK cities face in areas including transport, energy, education and healthcare. With interviews from senior leaders in the public and private sector, alongside IBM technology and business specialists, each gives their insights into the opportunities that exist to transform the way our cities function through technology.

“Helping our cities become smarter is essential to the UK's future. Unprecedented urbanisation is putting a huge strain on city resources and placing greater demands on the infrastructure that delivers our vital services, said Fraser Davidson, Smarter Cities Lead, IBM UK&I.

“The short films have been created to showcase the views of leading individuals across the UK and highlight the challenges and opportunities ahead as British cities focus on improving the quality of life for citizens and building a more sustainable future.”

Cities are now faced with unprecedented growth and challenges to their economic and social development. In the UK, around 80% of the population already lives in urban areas, compared to a world average of just over 50%, which is expected to increase to 70% by 2050. With an increasing trend toward city living, UK urban leaders are looking at new ways to create vital, sustainable cities.

The cathedral city of Peterborough is at the forefront of developing smarter systems as it prepares to expand its population to 200,000 by 2020. Already one of the UK's leading environmental cities, city officials plan to maintain their lead by introducing new technologies capable of understanding and connecting city-scale systems. New technology can now sense, analyse and integrate data, enabling the city to respond intelligently to the needs of citizens living and working in Peterborough.

Trevor Gibson, Director, Environmental Strategy, Opportunity for Peterborough said:  “We now have the capability to develop smarter traffic systems that dramatically cut the time spent in traffic to smart metering that reduces energy consumption and cost. Tapping into the potential that analytics offers will help effectively drive the city’s growth.”

The 3D film, City of Dreams, was unveiled at a private viewing event at the British Film Institute (BFI) in London on 15 April 2010. The event brought together thought leaders including executives from IBM, The Carbon Trust, NHS, Centre for Cities, Opportunity Peterborough and the Energy Technologies Institute.

Fraser concludes, “IBM's vision of Smarter Cities makes the case that cities must transform their systems to optimise the use of finite resources. We’re working to help cities not only realise their sustainability ambitions but also to enable them to improve the lives of people resident in UK cities.” 

To view the 6 short films, visit

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