In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I interviewed self-confessed data addict, Adam Dennett. Adam is the Senior Lecturer of Smart Cities and Urban Analytics at the University College, London.

According to Adam, the Smart City space expands from brewing beer to the social impacts of new technology, with a foundation of open data and education. We discussed a large range of interesting topics, including UCL’s Smart Cities Masters Degree and where the UK ranks when it comes to Smart Cities.

There were some technical difficulties with this episode, so the sound quality isn’t as clear as usual. This episode is also a bit longer than usual, but I hope you can listen to the end when we discuss the social implications and the power storage opportunities of autonomous and electric vehicles.

Disclaimer: Everything discussed in personal opinion only and does not represent the companies we work for or associated in any way with these companies.

Listen here:

“Increasingly, you’re going to start to get these new technologies being used and the data that is created just ambiently from just people existing and living a digital life, we can then start to make management decisions about bits of the city.”

“From giving our students the skills that are required to make sense of these different data sets, we were able to then hook them up with people who had a real interest in understanding the city and how the city changes and how it’s working, and make some research observations.”

“Open Data is an absolute must…If you close off your data, you’re limiting the potential range of innovations that can occur from the data that you have. Very often, you might not even be fully aware of the potential use of the data that you have and it might take someone somewhere working in another field to look at your data and ask ‘have you thought about doing this with it?’ for innovation to occur.”

What we cover in this episode:

  • Adam’s background in geography, migration and data analytics
  • How the use of data drives his interest in Smart Cities
  • The power of open data in discovering how people are using the resources of and living life in a city
  • The technologies Adam is interested in exploring
  • The history, development and outcomes of the Smart Cities Master Degree at UCL
  • Different ways UCL is fostering partnerships between students and other organisations
  • Why open data and education are the key foundations for a Smart City
  • The importance of skilling people and organisations up so they have the tools to be able to use the data for themselves
  • Where Adam thinks the UK rates when it comes to Smart Cities
  • The problem with scaling up when piloting Smart technology
  • Why Adam believes we’re not fully prepared for the ways cities and society will change with new energy storage solutions and widespread electric and autonomous vehicles
  • How Universal Basic Income as a response to technology-driven job losses could foster innovation
People and projects mentioned:
  • Professor Mike Batty, Urban Geographer, Founder of the Centre For Advanced Space Analysis at UCL
  • Olly O’Brien, UCL
  • Cycle Hire Scheme London
  • Future Cities Catapult
  • Olympic Park, London

Connect with Adam:

Connect with Adam via email:

Connect via Twitter: @adam_dennett

Find out more about his work via the UCL website.

Connect with Zoe:

Connect with me via email:
Connect via Twitter and Facebook: @smartcitypod

Podcast Production by Ellen Ronalds Keene

My Smart Community

My Smart Community offers consulting and media services with a focus on making our communities more accessible, liveable and sustainable for all. We have a focus on Smart Mobility, Smart project management, Smart technology in regional communities, dealing with disruption and facilitating genuine collaboration. As well as podcast production, communication and media advisory and engagement, keynote speaking, moderating, master of ceremonies and workshop design and facilitation.

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The Smart Community Podcast is a hub where smart and exciting people from all around the world come to discuss all things Smart City, Smart Town, Smart Region - anything that makes a place more liveable. Together we can create our own Smart Communities.


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