Sunderland Our Smart City


Sunderland is a city where we are evolving to widen our reach and visualise our future in high definition. Welcoming innovators, trailblazers, movers and shakers; we continue to revolutionise to compete globally, whilst remaining grounded and mindful of our rich heritage and culture.

We believe in more – more investment, greater opportunities, wider partnerships, boundless learning, further inclusivity and widespread support.

The definition of a ‘smart city’ is one which is a well-connected, digitally enabled place with world-class infrastructure supporting inclusive services for the prosperity of the city and those who live there.

Our world-leading smart city will bridge the gap between innovation programmes and front-line service priorities to ensure a sustainable balance of support and growth.

By connecting people and places we will enable smarter systems and increased opportunities to transform the ways in which we exist for a connected, healthy and vibrant experience for all.

Our smart City Plan provides the insight and blueprint to effect change over the next ten years and beyond. It is built around three interdependent themes: our dynamic smart city, our healthy smart city and our vibrant smart city. Aligned to these three core elements, we will support access to education, employment and economic prosperity for Sunderland and our people.

Motivated by responsible innovation, we will unlock our talent and potential, creating benefits and opportunities for the city and the wider region.

Internationally connected and growing – our plan is to promote our competitive advantages to shift thinking and instil positive perceptions of our smart city.


Sunderland’s recent appointment as a member of the Digital Leaders Cities Programme further cements our city’s drive to build digital confidence and connectivity.

The Digital Leaders Cities Programme is a UK-wide initiative that was designed to bring together leaders from an array of sectors to promote effective, long-term digital transformation.

It is a community in which over 100,000 senior leaders are involved in leveraging technology to promote economic growth, increase social well-being and narrow social gaps.

The programme provides a platform for cities around the UK to engage with one another with the end goal of driving digital transformation. This provides us with a network to share best practice and showcase the innovative work going on in our smart city.


The Smart City Vision for Sunderland is being delivered by a dedicated Programme Office.

Liz St Louis, Assistant Director of Smart Cities at Sunderland City Council, leads the team with project expertise from Dawn Harrison.

Technical expertise is being delivered by field specialists Perform Green.

Perform Green deliver digitally inspired change for good and are specialists in solving real world challenges through the deployment of digital. Their work includes supporting the roll out of connectivity to help improve the economy and lives of residents and communities, and to underpin innovation in service delivery.

Perform Green work all over the UK and internationally with local and national government, health providers, businesses and not-for-profit organisations to help them innovate, improve productivity and improve the quality of service to their clients, their customers and the communities they serve. Some of their projects have led to global recognition for clients as leading Smart Cities.

Perform Green are a Certified B Corporation meaning they are a company that commits and is obliged legally to have a positive impact on people and communities, the environment or both.

The Perform Green project team are excited to be working to support the roll out of high-speed communications infrastructure, which underpins the Sunderland Smart City Vision.


A dynamic place attractive to investors and talented individuals alike, Sunderland is already demonstrating the leading attributes of an urban centre of the future.

Motivated to continue our momentum as one of the most commercially active cities in the UK; our workforce, residents and strategic leaders are driven to innovate and adjust to constantly evolving global demands.

By 2030 we will have:

  • more and better jobs
  • more and better housing
  • more local people with better qualifications and skills to enable them to participate in and benefit from a stronger economy
  • a stronger city centre with more businesses, housing and cultural opportunities
  • a lower carbon smart city with greater digital connectivity for all
  • £2.1bn of public and private investment resulting in more than 17,000 new jobs

Sunderland is leading the way in digital transformation, recognised nationally as a key player in the rollout of forward-thinking initiatives. Not only does the city’s ambitious plan aim to equip the city, its businesses and future investors with the means to compete, it also recognises the importance of prioritising the health and success of residents and communities. Find out more about our inspirational journey as a healthy smart city of the future.


We are committed to health improvement and our ambitious plan will secure the structures and processes to achieve it.

To achieve a good quality of life in a health-supportive environment, we will continue to create and improve community resources and social environments.

Further ahead than any other Local Authority in the country, we will continue to champion health protection and sustainable development to support individuals across our smart city in performing all functions of life, enabling them to develop to their maximum potential.

Aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, our strategies to improve health and spur economic growth whilst tackling wider climate change global economic issues, are designed to support capacity-building for the people and businesses across our smart city.

By 2030 we will have:

  • access to equitable opportunities and life chances
  • reduced health inequalities enabling more people to live healthier, longer lives
  • people enjoying independent lives
  • a cleaner and more attractive city and neighbourhoods
  • a smart city with great transport and travel links

Our City Plan will create opportunities for residents across communities to actively engage in our dynamic and vibrant smart city.


Through substantial regeneration projects, agile collaborations and continued investment in the city, we are already creating a more vibrant economy.

Improving experiences for residents and visitors – in creating a vibrant smart city centre aligned to our City Plan, we create a visitor destination which presents Sunderland as a competitive, attractive and successful place to live, work, learn and invest.

From award-winning theatres, museums, galleries and music venues, to substantial inward investment, world-class education and leading research facilities; we are well on the way to shaping a unique, desirable urban setting.

By 2030 we will have:

  • more resilient people
  • more people feeling safe in their homes and neighbourhoods
  • more residents participating in their communities
  • more people visiting Sunderland and more residents informing and participating in cultural events, programmes and activities

Our connected smart city is alive with opportunity and represents an attractive proposition for businesses looking to invest as well as individuals searching for succeed. Explore our dynamic smart city here. 


From glass making and shipbuilding to a world leader in digital technologies, Sunderland has evolved to embrace the knowledge economy via a high proportion of skilled workers across various sector specialisms.

Presently leading the way in numerous research initiatives and with sizeable investment projects already underway, we are proud to be ahead of the curve as we pursue an even brighter future.

With prioritised initiatives spanning our three key themes for a dynamichealthy and vibrant smart city; our smart City Plan will build the foundations for our new smart city ecosystem.

Our smart City Plan will empower our citizens, communities and stakeholders by encouraging and enabling their active participation in our transformational journey.


Transforming our city into a smart city to take on tomorrow’s urban challenges, including: digital transition, transport innovation, housing, health and demographic growth; will ensure that Sunderland achieves a strong local impact, whilst raising our international profile.

We are already a leader in urban innovation through our use of new technologies to stimulate culture, the economy and tourism. As we continue our smart city journey, we will continue to create dynamic opportunities for individuals and business alike.

With great pride in our history and heritage, our extended community resources will build upon our vibrant, diverse cultural and commercial landscape with dynamic, healthy and vibrant opportunities for all.

Office Address
Smart City Programme Team
Civic Centre
Burdon Road
United Kingdom

Selected Experts & Contacts

Assistant Director for Smart Cities at Sunderland City Council
Dawn Harrison
Smart City Programme Manager at Sunderland City Council

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