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Planning SMART Places: unlocking growth and place-making through innovation

Category: Live Labs, Planning

Date: 23 November 2017

The way that we use places, infrastructure and key resources, such as our time, has seen a huge change over the last thirty years. Changes to the nature and role of the family, with widely dispersed patterns of family and kinship networks, significant advances in digital capabilities and infrastructure, the widespread use of big data, and the impact of the internet on the way we work, shop, communicate and use our leisure time, are just a few examples of these. The world has changed, almost beyond recognition, and is continuing to change at pace.

The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT), which represents Place Directors from county, unitary and metropolitan local authorities (LAs), together with Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Corporate Partner members, recognised the importance of not just observing or following this rapid change as a sector, but being at the forefront of it – contributing to the body of knowledge and creating new, innovative SMART approaches. As a result, ADEPT and its partners commissioned a research programme to explore the opportunities that SMART Places and digital innovation in place-based services can bring, to stimulate innovation and to encourage collaboration across the sector in prototyping new ideas; delivering ‘Live Labs’ at scale and sharing best practice.

This report specifically relates to digital innovation in planning SMART places, a key area of research within the overall programme. This research would not have been possible without the support of two core sponsors, Kier, and Atkins who is a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group. Senior leaders from these global organisations led the projects alongside ADEPT, through a Project Commissioning Board, and were deeply engaged in the research, which included a literature review, interviews with Place Leaders and prominent leaders from the business community, Innovation Labs and engagement in workshops with the Future Cities Catapult, the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The full report is here.