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Smart cities

Ideas, articles and reports on how universities can shape a new and better wave of smart cities.

Photo of presentation on stage
Launch of Smart Places report, Berlin 2019

Forget science fiction. We need to think differently about smart cities. #

From 2018–2019 I led an eight country research project looking at how universities can shape ‘smart cities’, funded by the British Council. The final report, Smart places – how universities are shaping a new wave of smart cities, was launched in Berlin at the Going Global 2019 conference.

A summary article in The Conversation has been read over 34,000 times. The research has been featured in the media from The i newspaper and Fast Company magazine to City Metric and Yahoo News, and I was interviewed about the findings on Singapore radio.

I’ve also written extensively about smart cities on this site – see below – including reflections on how some of my thinking has evolved since the report.




This report, commissioned by the British Council, is about how universities can help solve the challenges faced by cities and towns. It is written for university leaders, city leaders and officials looking to form stronger partnerships with their universities. Examples are given of universities working with city hall in eight cities across Europe: Bucharest (Romania), Darmstadt (Germany), Dublin (Ireland), Lille (France), Milan (Italy), Nottingham (UK), Warsaw (Poland) and Zaragoza (Spain).