The Drum's Day Before Tomorrow series exploring technological disruption continued last night with the third episode’s screening in London, looking at smart cities.
An audience including transport and travel professionals, architects, urban planners and environmental experts gathered to watch the programme, written and presented by The Drum’s head of TV Dave Birss.
The screening was followed by a panel debate featuring Matthew Griffin of Transport for London, Lewis Blackwell of The Building Centre, Nigel Vaz of SapientNitro and The Drum editor Gordon Young.
The film explored topics from how to create smart cities, communities and countries, how information sharing drives innovation, citizen empowerment and the role of government versus private sector.
“Being able to operate as a city requires us to innovate,” said Matthew Griffin during the panel session."
“London’s population is growing at the rate of 100,000 a year and there is huge pressure on our infrastructure.”
Nigel Vaz quoted research by Fiat using which suggested that if everyone in London drove digitally-enabled smaller cars and monitored driving behaviour using apps, £24 billion could be saved through improved fuel consumption, faster journey time and better air quality.
Huge challenges can be overcome by creating “near wins, to show people that small steps can build up to have a long term impact,” said Lewis Blackwell, adding: “We need to motivate individuals.”
One telling comment came from an audience member during open discussion: “This is our Industrial Revolution, and we have to learn how to cope with it.”