England & Wales, Ireland, Scotland Climate action and sustainable development, Technology

Why did we partner with Smart Cities World for the Cities Climate Action Summit?


Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto Japan

Here at LGIU, we’re starting to get excited about the upcoming Smart Cities World Climate Action Summit, which will take place on June 26 and 27 in London, both online and in person.

The LGIU exists to make local democracy around the world collectively stronger, through shared ideas, resources and connections. This is important so that local government is empowered to tackle the biggest challenges we’re all facing, today and in the future. One of the biggest challenges that requires collective action is, of course, climate change. That’s why we’ve partnered with Smart Cities World, both to support the Summit and to work together over the course of this year on a programme of events and shared content.

We work with over 300 councils from around the world, ranging from big international cities to small district councils, and we’re proud to have some of the leaders in smart city innovation and climate action within the LGIU family.

We think that there’s power in developing shared solutions to common problems. That’s one of the things we do as a local government membership organisation, and why we are so supportive of events like the Cities Climate Action Summit that encourage sharing and collaboration.

Ahead of the event later this month we decided to set ourselves the difficult task of selecting a few of those leading councils to profile here on the LGIU website. We’ll also be doing deep dives into some of these councils, and setting up Q&A sessions to understand more about what they are doing and how they’ve gone about setting up their programmes.

Within England there’s Royal Greenwich and Milton Keynes, both early trailblazers of smart city work. Both councils were involved in early innovation projects including the very first driverless vehicle trials in the UK, and have continued to be trailblazers. Milton Keynes kickstarted their agenda as far in 2014 to deliver the MK Data Hub, and Royal Greenwich has an established programme with both a commercial arm, DG Cities, and a digital infrastructure company, Digital Greenwich Connect. Within our member networks, there’s also Sunderland, with its wide-ranging programme covering new mobility solutions and 5G networks. And Westminster, the host borough for the summit, who has a smart city programme as well as being the top-ranking council in a recent UK climate action assessment. Also leading on both innovation and climate action are Oxfordshire County Council. We interviewed Oxfordshire last year and you can read about their approach to climate action here.

As part of LGIU Scotland, there’s Aberdeen City Council, whose recent AI Chatbot builds on collaborations with Microsoft. Also an LGIU member, Glasgow City Council frequently ranks in the top 10 indexes for Smart City initiatives and was home to Scotland’s first innovation district. Glasgow was also one of the first in the UK to launch a dedicated telecoms unit to act as a coordinator for smart cities work within industry partners. This approach has also been taken by our LGIU Ireland member, Dublin City Council, who host the Smart Dublin team to coordinate across the four Dublin local authorities. Smart Dublin has been running for 10 years, has an extensive team and programme, and brings together local councils, technology providers and academia.

We are also excited about making new connections at the Summit and learning from leading cities outside of our network. We will no doubt be featuring some of those new connections in Global Local, our weekly newsletter that showcases best practice from councils around the world on a new topic every week. We have great topics in the pipeline including one on climate action to coincide with the summit, as well as editions on sustainable asset management, cybersecurity, and AI in local government. (NB we’re also going to be exploring this topic later in the year through a special online event we are hosting with Smart Cities World – sign up to our Training and Events mailing here to bag your place when this is announced).

If you’re planning to attend the event in person in London on 27th June, please let us know, we’d love to meet you there and hear about what’s happening within your council/area – RSVP today! Do also join us for this Roundtable chaired by our CEO Jonathan Carr-West to discuss the topic ‘Exploring innovative policy approaches for climate action.’

Sign-up here to stay tuned to our upcoming articles and interviews with leaders in Smart City initiatives like Dublin, Milton Keynes, Aberdeen and Derby.


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