Last week saw Bristol ranked (alongside London) as a 'Leader' in Huawei's inaugural UK Smart Cities Index.  

The report recognised the 'best-in breed' practices currently being deployed within and around Bristol which aim to improve  connectivity and use of technology for Bristol's citizens.  

Getting 'smart cities' right in a way that truly makes a difference to its inhabitants is a challenging exercise.  Pulling together a harmonised approach to air, road, rail, pedal-power and other forms of transport; utilities; town and country planning, municipal lighting etc is not a simple matter.  

Bristol has already put in place innovative technologies which form the building blocks for its smart credentials.  Looking forward key considerations and success factors will include (I) recognising and building upon one or more technology operating/eco systems which have city wide stakeholder buy-in; (2) extending smart solutions and technology so that they can be plugged into other solutions at a regional and national level (i.e. rail/motorway/air);  (3) maintaining a vision that focuses on citizens' and commercial needs while retaining commercial buy-in; (4) a workable 'participation' network which enables and incentivises commercial and civic buy-in; and (5) managing and protecting IP developed within a smart city in a way which is marketable and which can be monetised to benefit the participating stakeholders and citizens. 

The Huawei report is recognition of the strides that Bristol has already taken in embracing and leading the UK with smart city solutions.