In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I had a great conversation with Sarah Wray, the editor at Smart Cities World, an online publication covering all the latest news and trends around Smart Cities and Smart Communities. Sarah and I discuss her background in writing for telecommunications and how that led her to this Smart space, as well as why she believes it’s important that the Smart concepts don’t get kept only in the cities but that small towns and regional communities can benefit from them too. We talk about how the UK is embracing the Smart concepts, and a number of really interesting projects that are happening both in the UK and globally. Sarah and I also talk about how to better integrate across disciplines, and the emerging trends of cybersecurity and of Smarts being visible, but not secret. As always, I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

You can now support the Smart Community Podcast via Patreon, at

If you become a Patron, you’ll get a special episode each month exclusive to supporters. If you would like to feature on the podcast, you can also head to Patreon where you can sponsor an episode. There are options for a full featured episode or adding a promo for your company or an event coming up, with once off and monthly options available. Thanks so much for your support for the podcast. It is my dream for the podcast to be self-sustaining so it can continue to be produced no matter the circumstances.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Sarah’s background in writing for telecommunications and how that led her to being interested in and involved with Smart Cities
  • What a Smart City is to Sarah and why she believes it’s an important area
  • How the UK is embracing Smart concepts
  • Projects Sarah is currently researching or writing about and examples of Smart concepts being implemented around the world
  • The importance of open data for integrating across disciplines, governments, industries
  • The PR problem with Smart Cities and why tech should be invisible but not secret
  • The emerging trends of cybersecurity and privacy and why we should be discussing it in more depth


For me it’s a city that’s always looking to improve, to become a better place to live or visit. I think now cities have a lot more tools to better understand the city and what’s going on, and so they can perhaps make more informed decisions to make those improvements.

I don’t think it’s all about the technology; sometimes the Smartest solution will be very low or no tech….more playgrounds or green spaces or how do we use all these empty buildings. Homelessness is a huge issue in many cities and that has to be part of becoming Smarter. But the solution isn’t aways technological.

I’m from a really quite small town and I’d hate to see somewhere like that be left behind even further. I would like to see places like that also benefit from all this innovation and help to be moved ahead and help the people there.

In our research we found that although 80% of people who we surveyed said they think they have a good or fairly good understanding of [blockchain] technology, concerns about understanding the technology came out as the number one challenge for moving ahead with it.”

“When I tell my friends and family about what my job is, usually they kind of look confused and sometimes concerned. I get a lot of comments about Big Brother when it comes to Smart Cities and I find this hugely worrying, because a lot of us live in cities that are striving to become Smarter in various ways, so I think there’s kind of a public image problem.”

“Cybersecurity is really going up the agenda, but often it feels like something, along with privacy, that cities say ‘yes we have that covered’ but the details are a little bit scant.”



Connect with Sarah via LinkedIn or the Smart Cities World website. You can also find Smart Cities World on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @SmartCitiesW

Connect with me via email:

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced 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.

The Smart Community Podcast

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.


Website Design by Gold Coast Graphic Design |

Web Hosting & Development by Peritum Studios |

Digital Strategy by Puzzle Media |

Podcast Production by Perk Digital |