Manchester wins £10m prize to become world leader in ‘smart city’ technology

Ordnance Survey is part of a public – private consortium that is celebrating
winning a £10m competition for Manchester to be the UK’s Internet of Things
(IoT) Demonstrator, awarded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The city will now become an arena for in-field innovation trials that demonstrate the capability of the IoT. The ‘CityVerve’ proposition aligns with Manchester’s on going devolution commitment to deliver innovative solutions to local needs and priorities and focus on the continued growth of the digital economy, and the more efficient and effective delivery of services such as transport, healthcare and energy. It is also intended that what is learnt in Manchester can be applied in other areas of the UK and around the globe.

One of the earliest examples of mapping data being used to provide a Smart City type answer to a serious issue occurred when a cholera outbreak swept through Soho, London, in 1854. Not satisfied with the authorities’ explanation that ‘bad air’ was the cause of the epidemic, local physician John Snow created an accurate map of the area, plotting on it the exact location of each of the hundreds of deaths. Analysing the information and presenting it on a map alongside accounts of local witnesses, Snow was able to eventually prove that shared neighborhood water pumps were in actual fact responsible. His use of geography and the results derived from it prompted a decade’s worth of improvements to public health and sanitation facilities that we still benefit from today.


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