Smart Cities

Seminar Session

Digital technologies are converging with urban and transport planning to spawn a new generation of smart cities. The UK is embracing the opportunity with the new Centre for Digital Built Britain. At the heart of plans to upgrade and expand cities, geospatial’s sensors and monitoring devices built into infrastructure gather and mobilise data that will improve the way we live, work and travel.

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Session Programme: 13:30 - 16:00

13:30 - 14:05 Wed 23   Theatre 1

Interview: Understanding the future of smart cities. What are the urban design challenges and how does the geospatial sector help to accelerate change? How will the UK Centre for Digital Built Britain drive change?

Dr Jennifer Schooling, Director of the Research Bridgehead at the Centre, for Digital Built Britain

The Centre for Digital Built Britain is a partnership between the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the University of Cambridge. It aims to deliver a smart digital economy for infrastructure and transform the UK’s approach to the way we plan, build, maintain and use our social and economic infrastructure. Dr Jennifer Schooling will explain how the new centre will support the geospatial sector’s drive to create the smart cities of the future.

Jennifer Schooling is Director of the Research Bridgehead for the new Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) in Cambridge. She is also the Director of the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC). Her work focuses on how better data and information from a wide range of sensing systems can be used to improve our understanding of our infrastructure, leading to better design, construction and management practices. She collaborates closely with industry and policy makers, developing and demonstrating innovations on real construction and infrastructure projects, and developing standards and guidance to enable implementation. Jennifer is founding Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Smart Infrastructure and Construction Proceedings journal (ICE) and a member of PAS185 smart cities security standard steering group. She has also served as a member of ICE’s State of the Nation 2017 ‘Digital Transformation’ Steering Group. Prior to joining the University of Cambridge, Jennifer worked for Arup, leading the firm’s Research Business, and for Edwards Vacuum (then BOC Edwards) as a manager for New Product Introductions. Jennifer is a Fellow of the ICE.

14:05 - 14:35 Wed 23   Theatre 1

Case Study 1: analysis of crowdsourced data from a distributed network of cyclists in Manchester

Philip McAleese, CEO, See.Sense

Like many major cities around the world, Manchester (UK) has had to contend with increased levels of urbanisation and population growth as people move to the city. With this trend expected to continue, the city’s transport infrastructure is facing increased strain as a rapidly expanding population navigate their way through the urban environment. It has therefore become a top priority to understand patterns of mobility to improve the transport network and maximise living standards. See.Sense, in collaboration with researchers from Queen’s University Belfast, is working with CityVerve, to build a more connected and mobile city through the use of sensor technology to identify its rapidly changing transport needs.

Philip McAleese is Co-founder and CEO of See.Sense. A commuter cyclist with over 20 years experience in electronic and software engineering, Philip originally worked designing air traffic control simulators for National Air Traffic Services, before going on to to design, build and maintain trading systems for several multinational investment banks. After inventing See.Sense to help make his cycle commuting journey safer, Philip left his corporate career to focus exclusively on See.Sense and has since grown See.Sense into one of UK’s most successful SME’s, whose innovation has been recognised with multiple awards.

14:35 - 15:05 Wed 23   Theatre 1

Case study 2: does a smart city have to choose between standardisation and innovation?

Richard Woodling, Managing Consultant, Smart Practice, Ordnance Survey

What makes a city smart? A consistent theme is that it involves considering a city as a whole, rather than as a number of separate systems. For instance, making choices about transport, green spaces, air quality and health in a joined-up way can help make a city a more attractive and liveable place to live and work. However, cities are diverse. There is no one-size-fits-all formula which a city can adopt to make it smart.

Richard Woodling is a Programme Manager and consultant currently leading projects within OS’s Smart City practice. He is a Member of the Institute for Engineering and Technology (IET) and a Registered Project Professional at the Association for Project Management (APM).

For more than 30 years Richard has managed complex projects across many industries where tight cost and change control is important, building efficiencies to ensure that programmes and projects deliver value for money on time. Richard led the work stream for the EU smart Cities ESPRESSO project, focusing on the business aspects for developing a strategic model for smart city growth. He is currently leading and consulting on connectivity initiatives within Ordnance Survey to explore the geospatial impact on radio spectrum for 5G communications working alongside Government (DCMS) and academia from Surrey University 5GIC.

15:05 - 16:00 Wed 23   Theatre 1

Panel Discussion

The Panel, ,

Julie Alexander, Director Urban Development & Smart Cities, Siemens

Miranda Sharp, Director of Innovation, Ordnance Survey

John Twitchen, Consultant, Env23


What do communities want and how do modern built environment professionals embrace the changing digitally enhanced design landscape to lead the smart city revolution?


This session will be facilitated by Antony Oliver, Editorial Consultant and Infrastructure Specialist who will put various questions to the panel whilst encouraging the audience to participate as well.



Julie Alexander is a Director for Urban Development and leads on the Smart Cities sector for Siemens. With her global remit working with cities around the world, she is responsible for engaging with cities to showcase the role of infrastructure and integrated technological solutions in urban development. Her recent book ‘Smart Cities: Cities in the Digital Age’, illustrates the importance of digitalisation in the field of critical infrastructure. Her latest research on The Business Case for Smart Cities: Infrastructure Investment has drawn global attention with its unique methodology on business case development for cities. Particular areas of specialism include the financing and funding of urban infrastructure through the use of innovate mechanisms and value capture. On this topic, Julie recently co-authored the report ‘Investor Ready Cities’ in conjunction with PwC and BLP Law. Julie also specialises in urban masterplanning, and digital enablement. Julie is a member of the Smart London Board, Institute for Future Cities Board and Urban Living Partnership Advisory Board. She also supports Innovate UK in the review process for the Future Cities Catapult.

Miranda Sharp is Director of Innovation at Ordnance Survey where 3 years ago she created a Smart Cities practice to collaborate with people from a spectrum across academia, large and small business, public and private sector to using place-based insights to seize the golden opportunities emerging from a ‘Smarter’ world. She is a member of the Mayor’s Smart London Board, the National Infrastructure Commission’s Future Technology panel, Future Leader for ICE Project 13 and a board advisor to the award-winning See Sense. She’s excited about creating a world-beating digital economy in the UK based on high performing digital infrastructure and innovative business models.

John Twitchen is an environmental and infrastructure communications specialist. His approach to everything is from the perspective of people, and his mantra is that actions should speak louder than words. John works with a number of leading organisation in the infrastructure, energy, waste and built environment sectors, and is collaborating with BRE on its connected cities programmes. He believes that digitalisation can unlock huge opportunities for everyone involved in developing, growing, building and servicing towns and cities, for the benefit of the people who live, work and learn in them.

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