By Trevor Dorling, Director, Digital Greenwich
The Royal Borough of Greenwich is one of London’s 33 Boroughs. Situated south of the River Thames, the Royal borough has long been associated with scientific invention and discovery, and has worldwide recognition through its association with the Greenwich Meridian and as the ‘home of time.’ But Greenwich is also undergoing a dramatic transformation and has become one of London’s most dynamic and fastest growing Boroughs. New “21st Century” districts are being created along its waterfront comprising more than 50,000 new homes, 120,000 new residents and thousands of new jobs in modern business districts. Along with Cities around the world, Greenwich is also confronted with a range of challenges. These include demographic change and the rising cost of health care, traffic congestion and high levels of emissions, the need to improve employment prospects and the quality of work in the face of technical change and, following the financial crisis, to deliver quality services with significantly reduced budgets. Greenwich has therefore turned towards new technologies and the roll-out of digital services to help meet these challenges.
As a result, the Royal Borough of Greenwich is now recognised as one of the U.K. leaders in smart city innovation. In October 2015, the Council approved its Smart City Strategy which sets out its plans to transform the borough using smart city principles. Today, the borough is delivering a wide range of innovative smart city projects including autonomous vehicle trials and the development of 5G applications as part of a U.K. 5G test bed. The Council’s in-house smart city team Digital Greenwich is known for being at the forefront of new technology developments and is leading a number of high profile research & development initiatives. Greenwich is well known for its work on Connected and Autonomous vehicles. Working with the Transport Research Laboratory, the leading European centre of excellence for future transport, the borough hosts the U.K. Smart Mobility Living Lab — a test environment for smart and connected mobility solutions aimed new approaches to market faster and to understand how new technology will work in a complex urban environment.