Leeds is a lively city, rich in culture and heritage with lots to explore. More than 760,000 people live within our city boundaries and over 100,000 people come to work in the city centre every day. Many thousands more tourists and visitors come to shop, eat out or enjoy the range of attractions Leeds has on offer.
Leeds is the second largest metropolitan district in England, with a population of over 715,000 and covering an area of 552 square kilometres. Located near the geographical centre of the UK, Leeds is the regional capital of Yorkshire and the Humber and is home to more than 75 different nationalities.
Leeds City Council delivers over 500 different services to residents and is dedicated to bringing the benefits of a prosperous, vibrant and attractive city to the people of Leeds. SMART LEEDS is the Leeds City Council-led programme created to identify and deliver new technologies and innovative solutions to help make Leeds the best place to live, work and visit. Building the smart city is the means to an end rather than the end itself. That’s why we’re embedding smart city principles into everything we do. Like any other city, Leeds has its challenges. Our BIG 3 priorities are health & wellbeing, housing growth & standards and travel & transport: https://datamillnorth.org/smart-leeds/
- Open data and analytics – Leeds has become the ‘data city’ of the UK. It is home of the award winning collaborative open data site Data Mill North managed by Leeds City Council where over 60 organisations are collaborating to publish their data. We’re also The pioneer node of the Open Data Institute, ODI Leeds where lots of innovation and discussion takes place with local technologists and national organisations. We’re creating the Leeds Office of Data Analytics where data will be shared seamlessly between organisations across the city to bring about improved outcomes and to ensure that the right services are delivered to the right people at the right time.
- World class connectivity -Our requirements and expectations of what we expect from the internet continues to increase. It’s important that access and capacity continues to grow in line with these expectations to ensure that Leeds continues to be an attractive place for businesses to thrive and for residents and visitors to get the most out of being online. Leeds City Council is working hard to ensure the city is connected with super fast fibre broadband and is ready to exploit new technologies such as next generation 5G mobile. Free Wi-Fi has been rolled out to all Leeds City Council buildings and some city centre locations such as Millennium Square and Briggate. Getting online is easier than ever before but there’s lots more to do to keep up with the latest technology and to make sure no one is left behind.
- 100% DIGITAL LEEDS – Approximately 90,000 adults in Leeds are either offline and/or lack basic digital skills. The council’s 100% DIGITAL LEEDS programme will ensure that digital inclusion brings positive outcomes for these people, including financial savings, reduced isolation, better employment prospects and improved health and wellbeing.
- Collaboration and tech for good – Leeds has an enthusiastic and growing digital sector employing over 24,000 people who are passionate about the city in which they live and work. We regularly come together through meet-ups, hacks and data dives to collaborate and produce new solutions that will enhance people’s lives. The council regularly run their award-winning Urban Sustainable Development Labs (Innovation Labs) which focus on the reuse of open data to deliver new and innovative services to citizens. These co-created solutions are develVoped in an open and collaborative environment and successes so far include the Leeds Bins app, Leeds Adult Learning website and CareView app.
- Health and wellbeing – Leeds is home to some big healthcare sector organisations such as NHS Digital and the Department of Health and one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe. This makes it ideally placed to focus on healthtech and innovation. The council’s Assisted Living Leeds Innovation Lab (ALL INN) helps drive product innovation within the field of assistive technology. ALL INN aims to close the gap to ensure that service users and health and social care professionals can contribute feedback on products earlier in the design process, leading to better, more innovative products which meet the needs and demands of their users more of the time. The council and clinical commissioning groups are working closely together to deliver the Leeds Care Record, a joined-up digital care record which enables clinical and care staff to view real-time health and care information across care providers and between different systems. It’s a secure computer system that brings together certain important information about patients who have used services provided by their GP, at a local hospital, community healthcare, social services or mental health teams to provide a more co-ordinated and seemless healthcare service. Leeds is pioneering with Helm, a system that puts users in control of their own health and care data by allowing them to view and add to key information, starting with medical data and growing to include wider public services. For the first time, we’ll be able to see and interact with our records and data on an easy to use, secure, online platform that encourages us to take control of our own health and wellbeing.
- Travel and Transport – Leeds is one of the largest cities in Europe without a mass transit system meaning getting around can be difficult. Like many other large cities we also experience days where air pollution can be higher than acceptable levels. Lots of work is taking place at ODI Leeds who are looking at how data can improve public transport. Working with the Department for Transport they’re hosting their All Aboard workshops at locations around the country focusing specifically on buses. Leeds City Council will introduce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in January 2020 which will target commercial vehicles which are not compliant with EU emission standards. It is also looking to introduce similar technology to that used by Smart Motorways which will monitor traffic levels coming into the city and automatically amend the traffic light phasing accordingly.To lead the way in moving to electric vehicles, the council’s fleet now consist of 42 electric vehicles – one of the largest in the country. It is also offering ultra-low emission vehicle drivers a free parking permit and allocating more parking for electric vehicles in council car parks and through planning conditions is ensuring new developments have suitable charging points. As well as greening its own fleet, the council is continuing to encourage people to use sustainable transport and working to help remove barriers for the transport industry to make positive changes too. We’ve recently completed a Proof of Concept for Smart parking sensors. Installation of sensors in all city centre parking bays will help drivers easily find the closest parking space, helping to reduce CO2 emissions. Further work to deploy at scale is ongoing – watch this space!
The new HS2 station will take centre stage in the city’s new South Bank regeneration scheme. This will require major building works that will transform that part of the city however we’ll need to be innovative whilst this work takes place to ensure we keep the city on the move.
- Housing standards and growth – A growing population and access to affordable housing are key challenges for us to tackle. Leeds has over 57,000 council houses which often need maintaining to improve living standards. We’re looking at how the latest technology can assist in ensuring homes stay in a good state of repair for longer. These days, broadband is often considered as a a utility, just like water, electricity and gas. We’re therefore looking at how we can get broadband access installed in all council houses to help tenants get online as cheaply as possible and enable them get to the most out of what the internet offers. The council has championed the ‘Leeds Housing Standard’, where the new technologies are being used to ensure new homes are built to be sustainable and energy efficient such as those being built by CITU.