Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, opened London Tech Week with a speech this week in which he stated his aim to make London the smartest city in the world. That is quite an ambition and I am sure that leaders from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, New York, Dubai and other leading smart cities would have something to say about. In fact, London is already classified as one of the smartest cities in the world, but to take that step to becoming the smartest is a lot easier said than done. Having the ambition and a leader that is so vocal about it can only be of great assistance to the people in London’s City Hall that will be tasked with making it happen.
Mayor Khan believes that creating a smarter city will improve the quality of life for the citizens of London, make it a better place to work and a more attractive place for investors to place their money. This has been one of the key themes of his mayoralty thus far, as he has tried to reposition London in the wake of the Brexit vote in the UK last year.
During the speech, he highlighted that technology is essential to solving everyday problems and a key factor in solving many of the biggest economic, social and ecological challenges we face today. He wants to work with the global tech community to help solve issues like the future of transport, housing, air pollution, climate change and more – important matters in which technology can play a big part in helping to create a smarter and more sustainable future.
Part of the Mayor’s speech highlighted how new technologies can be used to transform London by having a positive impact on the way of life for Londoners in many sectors like economy and culture. London’s strength comes from the diversity of the city, global connections and a vast pool of talent, this being the basis for its considerable success and wealth. By positioning London as the smartest city in the world Mayor Khan wants to protect what London has and to add to it in order to make a more open, diverse and economically successful city for all citizens
As a part of the Mayor’s plans, a Clean Tech Incubator called “Better Futures” will help more than 100 London-based small and medium business to provide clean-tech and low-carbon products that will fight the causes and effects of climate change and develop new clean-tech industries in the capital. We will watch this space and keep you updated as new smart city projects are launched in London in the months and years to come.