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Khan plans to turn London into world’s leading smart city

Words: Laura Edgar
Smart city / Shutterstock_219573052

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that digital technology and data lie at the heart of his vision to make London the world’s leading smart city.

As part of his plans, Khan has unveiled a new £1.6 million clean tech incubator called Better Futures. This aims to help 100 London-based small businesses to deliver low-carbon and clean tech products to tackle the causes and effects of climate change.

The scheme should be the start of a clean-tech cluster in the capital.

According to the a report by IESE Centre for Globalisation and Strategy, London is the leading European smart city. It is second in the global rankings behind New York.

Speaking at the launch of London Tech Week today (12 June), Khan said: “New technologies are having an enormous impact on our way of life – reshaping our societies, our economies and our culture.

“My ambition now is to harness the new technologies that are being pioneered right here to transform London into the world’s leading smart city.”

For the mayor, the potential for technology to tackle social, economic and environmental challenges is “immeasurable”.

“From air pollution and climate change to housing and transport, new technologies and data science will be at the heart of the long-term solutions to urban challenges.”

Khan added that recruitment has started on finding London’s first chief digital officer. Further to this, the mayor’s office is considering the potential for a London office of technology, where the capital’s boroughs would be able to meet to share best practice.

Also at the launch, Khan opened Plexal, based in Hackney Wick, Europe’s newest technology innovation destination, forming Europe’s biggest business innovation ecosystem at Here East.

London Tech Week concludes on 16 June, with events being held across the city.

Image credit | Shutterstock