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Data as infrastructure

Prospect's October 2017 supplement

By Prospect Team  

Scroll down to find all the pieces from this report

More data is available to policy-makers, businesses and individuals than ever before and it is having a profound impact on how firms and government deliver their services. It could also transform how both operate.

“Smart cities” may sound like a buzz-phrase, but across the UK—in places like Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol—local authorities are beginning to see data as what it is: another form of infrastructure. In the coming decades, creating efficient, well-planned cities will mean using physical and data infrastructure to their full potential.

This special report grew out of a series of high-level roundtable meetings over the summer which brought together government, private businesses and the third sector. The articles and essays look at how data is already being used to improve people’s lives and how it has the potential to do so much more. It focuses particularly on transport—an area which has already seen huge changes in ticketing practices and which will be further transformed by the arrival of autonomous vehicles in the future.

It’s very easy to have a vision of how “smart cities” should work in 2030. This report is about the practical steps we need to take now to get there.

The future will be data-driven

We should boast about our world-class achievements in transport

As cities look ahead they must focus on full transport integration

The modern economy: Local authorities have to adapt—or trouble awaits

Open data can drive progress—if you empower communities to use it

Councils must meet their digitally-savvy residents’ demands

How can a city welcome driverless cars?

Who benefits from smart cities?

The numbers: How is data being used in the UK?

Smart city-regions need smart people

What data could do for planning

Who knows you better—you, or your smartphone?

The digital future: What should business know?

A fourth industrial revolution?

If policymakers are to make better decisions, the data needs to be up to scratch

The new localism

The way forward: Addressing the needs of cities of the future


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