Peterborough Launches Smarter City Project to Transform City Systems and Drive Economic Growth

Project to support Peterborough's ambition to become the UK's Environment Capital

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ARMONK, N.Y., - 16 Mar 2010: Opportunity Peterborough, Peterborough City Council, IBM (NYSE: IBM), Royal Haskoning and Green Ventures today announced a new collaboration which aims to transform Peterborough into the leading sustainable city in the UK.

The collaboration has outlined plans to launch a Sustainable City Visualisation project, which will initially focus on building a new online platform to monitor and analyze data on Peterborough's energy, water, transport and waste systems. This data will be used to produce a real-time, integrated view of the city's environmental performance. Residents and city officials will be able to log on to the web portal and easily access the necessary information to make more informed decisions about resource usage. For example, the city will be able to make suggestions to improve home water and energy usage, while being able to work more effectively with the utilities to plan the long term energy and water infrastructure that is needed for a sustainable future.

For the first time, utilities, government agencies and local businesses will be able to share information for a more comprehensive view of the city's ecosystem. This will enable the various agencies to streamline and make more effective, ecologically-minded decisions and strategies to maximize sustainability. The system will also allow Peterborough residents to provide feedback and offer suggestions for improvement.

Commenting on the project, Trevor Gibson, Director of Environment Capital, Opportunity Peterborough, said, "Technological advances allow cities to collate data and interpret it in ways not achieved before and Peterborough is going to be at the forefront of taking advantage of this intelligence. Peterborough is using recognized expertise that will enable us to meet the sustainability challenges and achieve Peterborough's aspirations as environment capital."

Fifteen years ago Peterborough was made one of four UK Environment Cities by The Department of the Environment and is set to become one of a cluster of IBM "Smarter Cities" being developed around the world. Peterborough's growth targets to transform the city are ambitious and connecting the city systems is central to increasing quality of life for the proposed extra 20,000 jobs, 25,000 homes and 40,000 people that will be in the city by 2021 compared to 2001.

The first phase of the project will focus on energy and water data and work is already underway to move transport and waste related data onto the platform with other environmental data set to follow. These changes aim to cement Peterborough's place as a leading environmental city and directly impact the quality of life for people living and working in Peterborough for future generations.

"New technologies are capable of understanding and connecting city-scale systems, so they can sense, analyze and integrate data, enabling the city to respond intelligently to the needs of citizens," said Ian Abbott-Donnelly, European CTO, IBM Big Green Innovations. "To create such a mechanism, a partnership is needed between a community that has strong aspirations for sustainability, and companies like IBM, Royal Haskoning and Green Ventures that have the information technology and knowledge to apply to this transformative partnership."

Helping our cities become sustainable is essential to our planet's future. Cities now face unprecedented growth and challenges to their economic and social development: over half of all humans now live in cities. With 80% of the UK population also living in urban areas, cities across the country are increasingly looking at new ways to become smarter, and lessons can be learned from looking at the new intelligence being infused into the way cities work around the world.

Councillor Matthew Lee, Peterborough City Council deputy leader and cabinet member for environment capital, said: "This exciting project will produce a valuable tool to help achieve our target for significant and truly sustainable growth.  Our residents, business people, the public sector and utility providers will have access to dynamic information about our environmental performance, giving them the power and incentive to make real improvements. Access to online data such as this will equip us to plan and deliver sustainability in all we do."

Amy Savage, Senior Engineer, Royal Haskoning said, "The aim of the project is to provide Peterborough with a big picture overview of its current sustainability performance coupled with the right level of detail to identify how organisations and individuals could better work together and where the city can best prioritise investment.  The interactive and animated style of presentation of environmental data will be a great way to capture the enthusiasm of businesses and the community and will support Peterborough's ambition to create a more sustainable environment."

Phil Newby, Director, Green Ventures said, "Even a small city like Peterborough is a very complex place.  If you can visualise a problem it becomes easier to understand, and more pressing to fix.  Most importantly, if the data is shared, it makes collaboration easier, which in turn will speed the pace of change."

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About Opportunity Peterborough:

Opportunity Peterborough was established in April 2005 as an Urban Regeneration Company (one of nineteen in the UK) to drive forward the regeneration and growth of Peterborough.  A not for profit company working in strong partnership with the city council, it is funded by the public sector but driven forward by a private sector board.  Its three key objectives are;

- To create a vibrant and attractive city centre at the heart of a bigger and better Peterborough

- The sustainable economic and integrated growth of Peterborough

- A vibrant and diverse business community, supported by an improved skills and knowledge base, fit for the global economy

About Royal Haskoning:

Royal Haskoning is an independent international engineering and environmental consultancy.  With 4,000 employees operating in 20 countries, we provide an extensive range of multi-disciplinary services relating to maritime, water and environment, infrastructure and buildings, industry and energy, and transport and development.  

With a worldwide network of professionals and strong industry relationships established over two centuries, our expertise and experience is far reaching.  Respected thought leaders within our market sectors, we are renowned for our technical excellence, developing, designing and delivering innovative and sustainable solutions, that transform ambitions into reality. / or

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