Hypercat 'crowdsources' expert ideas for smart city project

Hypercat has enlisted some of the UK's leading smart cities experts and organisations to help develop ideas for the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) - the nation's largest urban redevelopment project.

As part of a new smart city report, thoughts on the project were 'crowdsourced' from hundreds of experts across six different domains through a series of 37 workshops. Hypercat was supported by companies including Innovate UK, the Mayor of London's office, the OPDC, BT, KPMG, Cisco, Flexeye and Symantec.

Victoria Hills, OPDC's chief executive officer, said: "The collaboration with Hypercat has helped us to tap into the expertise of a huge number of smart city experts in a very short space of time. I'm keen that the OPDC can quickly build upon the interim Smart Strategy so we can embed technology, innovation and smart approaches into everything we do to plan, design, build, and finance the UK's largest regeneration project.

"A Smart approach at Old Oak and Park Royal will not only further bolster London's competitive position in the global economy. It also makes economic sense to embed and foster innovation that leads with delivery around growth hubs such as HS2 stations."

The OPDC was originally launched in April 2015 so as to drive forward innovation for the site, with the aim of eventually delivering 25,500 homes and 65,000 jobs alongside the construction of an HS2 and Crossrail Station.

In addition, the area would become a 'sustainable neighbourhood', embracing various 'smart' technologies with support from Hypercat, in order to enhance economic growth for business and quality of life for residents.

"It's been fantastic to work closely with the OPDC and hundreds of smart thinkers to shape such an important report," said Justin Anderson, CEO of Flexeye and a founder of Hypercat. "The breadth of areas covered and the richness of the ideas conveyed mean that there is lots of value for other cities in the UK and internationally. We are very much looking forward to working with the OPDC to continue to take forward the strategy."

Top recommendations include using technology to reduce waste generation, mitigate and adapt to climate change, improve air quality and intelligently manage clean energy networks. In order to stay integrated and connected, the project should use public buildings efficiently and integrate management of transport network capacity.

Innovation should be nurtured, deliverable solutions explored and implemented, and collaboration and sharing encouraged, the report adds.

A draft OPDC Local Plan was created from the interim report, and is now open for public consultation until 31 March. The next version of the plan will be produced at a later date.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

You can get in touch with Caroline via email at caroline.preece@futurenet.com.