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UK smart cities present and future: An analysis of British smart cities through current and emerging technologies and practices [version 2; peer review: 3 approved]

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posted on 2021-03-25, 12:15 authored by William Brown, Melanie KingMelanie King, Yee GohYee Goh
This paper is premised upon an analysis of 26 cities within the UK regarding their smart city projects. Each city was analyzed through news articles, reports and policy documents to ascertain the level of each city’s development as a smart city. Each was coded by separating the projects into five types, which were ranked on a scale from 0 (no plans for use) to 5 (project type in use). The most common types are the provision of open data and the creation of business ecosystems as the primary driver of the smart city. However, many councils and enterprises proclaim smartness before the technology is actually in use, making it difficult to separate what is utilised and what is under development. Therefore, this paper further carried out an analysis of 20 cities and their intended plans to usher in the smart city, to observe the expected emergence of smart city technology. This was achieved by interrogating various roadmaps and policy documents produced by the respective cities. It was found that the most prevalent form of emergent smart city technology is the rollout of 5G and increased educational programmes alongside a proliferation of internet of things and electric vehicle usage.
Amendments from Version 1: The reviewers have provided some very helpful comments. The paper has been strengthened to specify the intended audience – i.e. those with a remit to promote and protect individual and community health and well-being. The issue of health equity is emphasised further and some examples to support the claims in the paper are used to provide additional contextual information.


This work was funded by a grant from the Engineering and Physcial Sciences Research Council (EP/R513088/1).



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

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Emerald Open Research




Brown W, King M and Goh YM. UK smart cities present and future: An analysis of British smart cities through current and emerging technologies and practices [version 2; peer review: 3 approved]. Emerald Open Res 2020, 2:4 (https://doi.org/10.35241/emeraldopenres.13415.2)




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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Emerald under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Mr Will Brown. Deposit date: 25 February 2020

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