Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has embarked on a collaboration with Cisco to explore the digital future of the town.
The council’s digital strategy seeks to create opportunities for energy saving, carbon reduction, innovation and sustainable growth as it aspires to provide smart, connected experiences for those living in, working and visiting the town.
It is also aiming to reduce costs and increase communication and interactions with citizens and businesses across the borough.
“Innovation is vital to the UK’s success as a global nation, and we are delighted to be playing a key role in this. We want to further enable our citizens and businesses to grow and evolve, in line with the rest of the UK and with competition globally,” said Nick Corrigan, head of digital futures, Southend-on-Sea.
“We are looking forward to the collaboration and seeing our local residents and stakeholders realise the opportunities digitisation can offer.”
The project will utilise Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform to investigate the role of digital technologies in improving the delivery of services, economic development and citizen engagement through use of networking technologies.
This technology has been showcased in cities around the world, from Manchester’s CityVerve project where technology has been implemented to help monitor CO2 levels and develop smart transportation solutions, to improving public safety through a smart and connected platform in Jaipur, India.
The initiative will also aim to create a technology hub in the closest seaside town to London and capitalise on Cisco’s expertise in the elements that underpin a smart city – connectivity, data and security.
To address the broad ranging challenges facing Southend and the council’s ambition to manage the town holistically, the project will involve a number of ecosystem partners, with solutions built on Cisco’s platform to ensure data and initiatives are connected.
The project with Southend-on-Sea will see Cisco help architect and collaborate on several pilot initiatives including:
- Community safety – with the creation of an intelligence hub using IP based public safety solutions, leveraging CCTV and video analytics to help reduce anti-social behaviour, noise and aid crowd control
- Smart traffic access and parking management – incorporating data solutions already deployed by Southend to ease congestion, provide smart parking and improve pedestrian safety
- Resident support – investigating the provision of connected care homes, providing healthcare applications and round the clock care in local areas
- Environmental monitoring and management – initially to address air quality monitoring and early flood management using Internet of Things technology
- Energy management – exploring new energy efficient solutions to help reduce power consumption across Southend.
“The ambition to share the benefits of digital technologies shouldn’t be limited to organisations or even big cities,” added Stuart Higgins, head of smart cities and Internet of Things at Cisco, UK & Ireland.
“What Southend-on-Sea Borough Council aims to achieve is testament to that, and we are thrilled to be working with [it] and our partners to help enhance the lives of people who live, work and visit the town.”