London joins Euro smart cities drive


Electric bike sharing, using electric vehicles (EVs) for car sharing and local deliveries, and installing smart parking bays are among schemes to be trialled in London under the EU's €25 million six-city Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse programme.

The London Borough of Greenwich, a key demonstrator site, is already operating as a UK urban technology hub, within its October 2015 Smart City Strategy which emphasises more sustainable mobility. It is also a national pilot zone for trialling driverless cars on public roads during 2016.

The smart bays being tested will optimise occupancy by giving drivers fast access to real-time availability information, and so reduce time and fuel wasted in circling to find parking space. All the projects are aimed at improving air quality, as is a scheme for passing Thames water through heat pumps as a renewable energy source for delivering low-cost space heating and hot water to local buildings.

The council also plans to take full advantage of the application of the digital building information modelling (BIM) approach being applied to the new Crossrail station at Woolwich to manage the local impacts and maximise the potential community benefits of new transport infrastructure. It intends Greenwich to become a 'BIM borough'.

Council Greenwich council leader, Denise Hyland has welcomed the opportunity of the EU Smart Cities programme 'to share our experience and learn from others and, provide further insight into how technology and data analytics can help tackle many of the problems our cities face'.

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