Our Smarter London Together Report Card — working in the open

Our progress as a smarter city is always live online. Fiona Lalo, our Report Card project manager in the Smart London Team at Greater London Authority, highlights progress we’ve made available publicly.

As part of City Hall’s commitment to working in the open, we’re sharing some highlights so far from our journey delivering the Smarter London Together Roadmap from our Report Card.

We said that we’d work in the open as part of our commitments in the Local Digital Declaration.

The Report Card is an important way that we are doing this — continuously, online, and accessible to all.

Our Report Card — with eight completed actions after year one

Mission 1: More user-designed services

We said that we would make sure design is part of digital services and technology, to make sure the right problems get solved and are free from bias.

We believe common standards can help London scale services across organisational boundaries and increase the pace of delivery by sharing data, processes, components, services and platforms to better serve citizens. Our Digital Team has posted the results of digital service standard assessments and the London Peer Group of Borough officers has posted their ideas for discussion.

­We completed the first year of the Civic Innovation Challenge by awarding £15,000 to eight startups with solutions across climate change, access to housing, dementia and isolation.

Civic and peer-to-peer platforms offer better ways for citizens and communities to interact and co-create, capitalising on trends and changes in technology that have unlocked new opportunities for citizens to play a more active role in the way London is run. Talk London, our digital engagement platform, will directly involve the public in deciding the focus of and setting Civic Innovation Challenges, as well as supporting user testing.

The Talk London team offered user-testing support to Civic Innovation Challenge winners GoJauntly

The Mayor pledged £590,500 to 26 community-led campaigns through Crowdfund London in 2018, 23 of these projects ran successful campaigns to secure their funding and have now successfully signed funding agreements with the GLA and commenced delivery. Entries for Crowdfund London 2019 closed on 1 May and are currently running live crowdfunding campaigns with the Mayor to make his next round of pledges in July. City Hall’s Regeneration Team recently commissioned innovation charity Nesta to produce a report looking at new models of community ownership, investment and governance — the findings of which were reported to the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) in May.

We are working to overcome lack of access to a computer, poor digital connectivity and not enough investment in basic digital skills holding some citizens back from finding work and from accessing public services and financial support. Our Skills Team have published City Hall’s views on the forthcoming Basic Digital Skills entitlement and accompanying qualification reform.

Theo Blackwell, our Chief Digital Officer (CDO), has signed London up to join the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights with New York, Barcelona, Helsinki, Chicago, Los Angeles, and others.

Mission 2: Strike a new deal for city data

In our Roadmap, we identified the need to develop better policies on how we treat data as an infrastructure issue for the city and then build them into public procurement and the design of new services.

February saw the launch of our City Data Analytics Programme — describing our vision, objectives, and governance for new data-sharing arrangements at City Hall and across public services. Further to this, the London Fire Brigade is now providing legal support to the GLA’s data sharing agreements. We have decided that we wish to purchase population count data to understand variation in the population of small areas of London by different times of day and days of the week, to be used to develop new analytical outputs and improve existing ones in demography, air quality monitoring, economic and transport planning.

To advance the public understanding of the civic benefit of data, the Open Data Institute published its findings on how London can create and manage city data trusts, by scoping how a data trust pilot would work with our Sharing Cities team at City Hall and the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

In April 2019, our CDO with representatives from several European cities came together at a workshop in Helsinki to discuss the issue of artificial intelligence (AI) ethics. Read this post from the Chief Digital Officers of London and Helsinki and a blog from Eddie Copeland, the incoming director of the London Office of Technology and Innovation (see below). We followed this up with a workshop held at Nesta on 28th June attended by representatives from London boroughs and TfL and the Met Police.

Supporting work to open up the capital’s data for better decision-making, we’re now thinking about the next iteration of the London Datastore (Datastore 3.0). This is informed by the digital service standard review which the London Datastore underwent in November 2018.

Through working with C40, the Environmental Defense Fund and Google Earth Outreach, earlier this year City Hall’s Environment Team launched the Breathe London project which is funding the world’s largest-ever study of its kind — monitoring air quality exposure of 250 children on their way to school and in the classroom.

We have released a new interactive map with updated data from 2016 that underlines the scale of the capital’s air quality challenge.

We recognised the need to use data to support culture and the night time economy, tying in with our objective under Mission 4 around exploring the role that cultural institutions play in promoting public understanding about the role of data and technology in their lives.

London’s new Cultural Infrastructure Map is the next step in the Mayor’s open data work to help citizens and planners protect cultural assets from development. Further to work with Transport for London and following the publication of GLA Economics’ report on London at night, and the Mayor has now outlined his plans to support the night-time economy, including a new data observatory.

Mission 3: World-class connectivity and smarter streets

Our new approach to connectivity works across London to coordinate investment, mobilise public and private land and assets, lower costs for providers and consumers and increase choice.

Connected London has been working on a range of actives in collaboration with partners — such as public bodies, private landowners and providers — to achieve a more connected city and tackle ‘not spots’. This includes highlighting best practise and ongoing discussions with West London Alliance and Local Authorities to align projects with TfL’s Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN).

A new Connectivity Map has been published online to view estimated coverage of broadband services across London by postcode, ward or borough. The Chief Digital Officer appeared before the London Assembly Regeneration Committee on 8 May to review the Mayor’s approach to digital connectivity and London as a smart city.

The Mayor had committed to accelerating the take up of smart infrastructure through the Sharing Cities programme, which the GLA leads on with Horizon 2020 funding. We started by convening the London Lamppost Working Group to discuss collaborative procurement of a new generation of smart lampposts across London, including seeking funding from the European Investment Bank.

As raised in the Roadmap, we’re working towards proposing guidance on the adoption of common standards in smart infrastructure and sharing of performance data, part of the Mayor’s Good Growth by Design programme. We’ve working with Gort Scott, WeMadeThat, and Hatch Regeneris to build the investment case for boroughs’ high street strategies using the value of data and the value of design to meet the boroughs’ social, economic, and environmental outcomes.

Mission 4: Enhance digital leadership and skills

With London’s economy becoming increasingly digital, better digital leadership and skills at all levels of public services will be required in areas such as transformation, cyber security and data. Opportunities were identified through the Mayor’s Skills for Londoners Strategy, which proposed significant investment, as well as through the apprenticeship levy alongside collaboration with the Government Digital Service and central government, in addition to the GLA’s involvement in the London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI).

City Hall’s Digital Transformation Team have been working with the Socitm Leadership Academy to develop the digital leadership workstream as part of LOTI, this is further to the update on the last cohort of the Digital Leadership Programme and the second cohort starting in November 2018.

Our Digital Talent Programme has funded the London Connected Learning Centre to deliver a package of digital training and support for educators, and held its ‘Young Entrepreneurs’ launch in March 2019 — Talent Spot, where they will showcase exclusive internship opportunities. Two providers (Capital Enterprise and A New Direction) have been appointed to deliver the Young Entrepreneur strand of work to prepare, coach and support young people in the planning and development of a start-up. As part of steps to tackle the lack of diversity in the tech sector, in November 2018 the GLA Group had signed the Tech Talent Charter — a series of pledges that aim to improve diversity in the UK tech workforce that better reflects the make-up of the population.

Our LaunchIT workshops help young people get started in their career in tech

Addressing the need to develop new coding skills among our young people, in 2019 the GLA’s Education and Youth Team held another series of RE:CODE London events for 9–11 year olds, having engaged with over 3,000 children in 2018, with two events specifically for pupils with additional needs (SEND).

Mission 5: Improve city-wide collaboration

Strengthening the city’s ability to work together means improving digital collaboration across public services and promoting consistency to drive quality of service. This includes exploring partnerships with the wider tech sector and learning from other world cities on big urban challenges.

London’s governance complexity presents unique challenges on design, standardisation and scale of services between its 33 local authorities. The creation of the London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) was officially celebrated earlier this week at the European headquarters of Bloomberg Associates, as a digital collaboration vehicle to address these challenges. Eddie Copeland, currently Director of Government Innovation at Nesta, was named as the newly appointed Director of LOTI.

Healthcare innovation raises questions on how to ensure that all Londoners can benefit by linking NHS data and digital transformation with other city-wide initiatives. The One London programme has worked closely with the Smart London Team and the CDO in the GLA to develop a first-class programme of engagement to explore how Londoners expect their health data to be shared and used by the NHS and the wider public sector, and what the appetite is for increased data sharing for the common good.

Bringing clarity to the London GovTech market is being achieved by connecting products, services, and platforms offering clear civic benefits with venture capitals — via the Mayor’s new TechInvest programme. We recently held a session on Cleantech at Level 39 in Canary Wharf.

The GLA has taken steps to strengthen its links with other European cities and standards organisations by joining Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC), a global network of cities whose common purpose is to improve the quality of life for citizens through innovation and technology by building a global market place with common standards.

The Sharing Cities programme is engaging with over 100 cities across Europe (including Napoli, Warsaw, Bordeaux and Burgas) to scale up smart tech that has been proven to work as part of the programme — a strategic plan for Years 4 and 5 of the programme has been produced in partnership with the consortium. Additionally, the Smart London Team attended a workshop with local authorities across the UK with the BSI to start designing collaborative smart city funding requests from government.

Sharing energy data and best practise is one way in which the Mayor is putting technology to work in his ambition to become a zero-carbon city with smart, integrated energy systems that use local and renewable energy. We’ve completed the first round of testing of the London Heat Map, an online tool used to assist with decentralised energy projects across the capital. In London Tech Week on 12 June we had an Energy Hackathon at City Hall to explore and test varies smart solutions to many of the most pressing energy challenges.

The London Heat Map shows heating energy demand of London’s buildings

City Hall’s Planning Team has continued to work on a range of digital planning tools to help monitor, understand, and prepare for the city’s growth. In 2018, we published a post about our vision for a ‘live hub’ for planning data, accessible to all Londoners. Atkins was appointed to produce a GLA database that will be central to our London Development Database Automated Project and are now mid-way through developing the back office database to collect and collate the information.

We recently completed a discovery project on the availability of 3D data and tools available in this sector, to better understand additional capabilities in 3D modelling to help us manage the city’s growth. We learnt that there is lots of data available but the biggest challenges that cities around the world have faced has been the need to define their starting expectations. We are developing the Infrastructure Mapping Application 3.0, with improved functionality and expanded data, to be delivered by early 2020, with new additions going live in the interim.

For more updates, look in our public Report Card, and you can get involved on Talk London.

@MayorofLondon CDO & Smart London Board putting data & technology at the heart of making London an even better place to live, work and visit