Smart Cities, Big Data and the Built Environment: What’s Required?

University of Reading: School of Construction Management
& Engineering and School of Real Estate & Planning collaborate on RICS Smart Cities Report.

Written by: Professor Tim Dixon, Dr Jorn van de Wetering, Professor Martin Sexton, Dr Shu-Ling Lu, Dr Dan Williams, Dilek Ulutas Duman and Xueying Chen

Executive Summary Background We live in an increasingly urbanised world. Currently more than 50 per cent of the world’s population lives in cities, and this is set to grow to 70% by 2050 (UN, 2014). Recently we have seen a greater focus on information and communications technology (ICT) to argue the case for ‘smart cities’. This places a strong emphasis on an ICT-led and a ‘data-driven’ future, which also positions the development of new products, processes, organisational methods and markets at the heart of the continued ambition for sustainable urban economic growth. The interconnected agendas of smart cities, big data and open data, on the face of it, provide bold and exciting opportunities for the built environment professions, including RICS members. But, what in reality will those opportunities be, and what are the challenges? This research, conducted from 2015-2016, seeks to explore those questions and focuses on the city level. The aim of this research is to examine the scope for the development of data platforms at city level in the UK and internationally and to determine how the RICS and its members (and other built environment professions, including architects, planners and engineers) can benefit from these data platforms. Focusing on ‘big data’ and ‘open’ data relating to the built environment, the research examines: • The drivers and barriers for big data platforms at city level in the UK and internationally. • Key trends in the development and opening up of big data in cities. • The opportunities for client advice and the potential for RICS members to use big data creatively and innovatively to add value to their professional work. Using an institutional analysis approach, the research consisted of an online scoping survey of UK smart cities; four case studies in Bristol, Milton Keynes, Amsterdam and Taipei; and a UK expert workshop.

you can read more of the report here:

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One Response to Smart Cities, Big Data and the Built Environment: What’s Required?

  1. Speaking as a surveyor, I have to say the radical advances in tech have changed our industry beyond recognition over the last 10 or 15 years.
    And as a member of RICS I already had a peak at this report – so inspirational.

    Right now my head’s full of new ideas and opportunities regarding a lot of this stuff. How do other CS pros feel?

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