With suggestions that lockdown has accelerated Smart Services around the world we wanted to investigate this further. In the fight against COVID-19, schools, cities and police are beginning to share data in unprecedented ways.

So what is Smart?

Richard Jackson explains “Smart” has been a long-standing buzz word for the future of public infrastructure tech, often referred to as “Smart Cities”. This frustrates us at DFL as to why limit it to Towns and Cities when Villages have an equal opportunity to be the catalyst for change. We feel the hurdle to unlocking the true smart potential of any public infrastructure asset is to understand that each process, asset or need is truly unique to its situation, but has to be built around a common theme that whilst being unique, is still designed to integrate with the rest of the platforms, systems and programs. Then we need to demonstrate there is value for money. Cost models no longer rely on “energy or carbon savings” they rely on social impact and a vast array of linked savings. Such as the health impacts and increased “flows” of traffic be it pedestrian or Vehicular.”

“Cost models no longer rely on “energy or carbon savings” they rely on social impact and a vast array of linked savings.”

Lockdown has given people a chance to think about some of the changes that can be made to make the UK more efficient and we think that this provides great possibilities for what is to come. We recognise that transforming Smart Cities isn’t cheap, and governments are facing COVID-related budget cuts that could stop funding for tech innovation projects, however looking to the future it is hard to imagine that it will not be Smart. Although it is still early days we aim to be the UK’s number one smart consultancy and we look forward to working with clients to help them achieve their Smart objectives.

Richard says, “This is just the start. It is not possible to write an answer on here that would chime with all the smart infrastructure professionals that are assessing options for their assets. Our role in the smart market is to be the consultant of choice building on the key values that DFL work to, Quality, Knowledgeable, Clear impartial, Advice and being dependable. With this we work with each Authority or client working on building their business case cost models to show return on investment to allow them to put smart at the top of the agenda.”