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Are government budgets keeping pace with the growth of smart cities?

As a leading exponent of smart cities and the expansion of smart city technologies, here at Clearview Traffic we've been reviewing some of the recent news items on the subject of government budgets and their use.

And we are wondering how far it's possible to be forward thinking in using budgets for introducing smart city technologies when they are under such pressure? And it's complex to work out.

There seems to be a level of disparate thinking around the smart cities concept that our leading experts in this area are looking to re-educate around. Our blog has touched on smart cities many times, and with compelling evidence and statistics on the whole subject.

Whilst the Government continues to push through austerity reforms in 2016, every department appears to be under pressure to cut budgets.

This then has an impact on local authority budgets, and in return there's mounting pressure from the public to retain local services and keep budget levels consistent.

This reduction in available budget also creates the need to find innovative ways to effectively spend the money available at local authority level.

We believe that smart cities offer the potential to join up road networks, parking, public transport and interlinked systems, to support faster, safer journey times across the UK.

If, however, this is not supported by the prevailing political direction in the country, it won't gain momentum and popularity. That's the crux of smart cities. It needs leverage.

Some local councils in the UK are seeing benefits from utilising such systems, however, and there are superb examples currently in places such as Cambridge and in Northampton to name but two.

But is this enough? As a leading exponent of smart city technology, we think not. How many plans are currently on hold across the country, due to lack of money from austerity budgeting in central Government?

There are pros and cons, of course, to any element of the Government's spending plans, but if real innovation continues to be stifled and new ideas are dampened by a lack of progress, then progress in smart city developments will suffer as a result. We all suffer.

We'd even suggest that there's a risk of never realising the true potential of the Internet of Things, and putting in place a truly smart city approach to transportation and journeys across the entire country. And we all deserve a better future than that.

What do you think? Why not share your view with us -- get in touch

Author: Andrew R |Date Published: March 2016

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