City businesses commit to creating a Circular Economy by 2050

City businesses commit to creating a Circular Economy by 2050

City organ­isa­tions includ­ing Roy­al Haskon­ing DHV, Skanska, Viridor and Coca Cola, Free Think­ing, I3 Media and Rail­world, today atten­ded a sign­ing cere­mony com­mit­ting sup­port to cre­ate a Cir­cu­lar Peter­bor­ough by 2050.

Cir­cu­lar Peter­bor­ough, a Future Peter­bor­ough ini­ti­at­ive, delivered by Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, encour­ages col­lab­or­at­ive work­ing across the city to max­im­ise the life­cycle of products and ser­vices, driv­ing great­er resource pro­ductiv­ity, redu­cing envir­on­ment­al impact and address­ing declin­ing nat­ur­al resource issues in the future.

The Cir­cu­lar Peter­bor­ough Com­mit­ment sets out an approach: rethink­ing; redesign­ing; repair­ing; repur­pos­ing, reusing and shar­ing; reman­u­fac­tur­ing; recyc­ling and recov­er­ing products and ser­vices – the 7 Rs which enables the city to make the most of loc­al resources, sup­port eco­nom­ic resi­li­ence, develop strong com­munit­ies and increase envir­on­ment­al sus­tain­ab­il­ity.  Organ­isa­tions who have signed the com­mit­ment are act­ively involved in devel­op­ing pilot pro­jects and ini­ti­at­ives which encour­age a more sus­tain­able approach to busi­ness in our city.

Steve Bow­yer, Chief Exec­ut­ive of Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough and Pro­ject Dir­ect­or of the Future Cit­ies Pro­gram­me said ‘Put simply, if we con­tin­ue to use resources at the cur­rent rate, we will need three plan­ets worth to sup­port future gen­er­a­tions.  Cre­at­ing a cir­cu­lar eco­nomy here in Peter­bor­ough starts at grass­roots with city busi­nesses com­mit­ting to rethink the way they oper­ate’.

Paul Row­land, Region­al Man­ager for Viridor added of the com­mit­ment: “Peter­bor­ough is at the fore­front of devel­op­ing a more resource effi­cient UK. As a city we must look to reduce the amount of waste we pro­duce, recycle as much as pos­sible and then at the Energy Recov­ery Facil­ity we work closely with Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil to trans­form what res­id­ents throw away in their bins into power­ing homes in the city along with sup­port­ing loc­al busi­nesses to divert waste away from land­fill. By com­mit­ting to the Cir­cu­lar Peter­bor­ough ini­ti­at­ive we will be able to sup­port the City as it grows in the future devel­op­ing a more resi­li­ent and suc­cess­ful place to live.”

Peterborough shares smart success on the global stage

Peterborough shares smart success on the global stage

Peter­bor­ough is being cata­pul­ted to new heights of inter­na­tion­al acclaim as its smart and sus­tain­able cre­den­tials are exhib­ited at the Smart City World Expo in Bar­celona this week (15 – 17th Novem­ber).

After win­ning the title of “World Smart City 2015”, Peter­bor­ough was invited to show­case its cit­izen-centred approach towards cre­at­ing a smart city to an inter­na­tion­al audi­ence of more than 400 city lead­ers, influ­en­cers, busi­nesses and smart tech­no­logy innov­at­ors.

Delivered by eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment com­pany, Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough, and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, the Peter­bor­ough DNA pro­ject was formed four years ago after the city was awar­ded £3 mil­lion by the Tech­no­logy Strategy Board, (now Innov­ate UK) to test, develop and imple­ment new and smarter ways of con­nect­ing people, places and ser­vices.

Now, as Peter­bor­ough pre­pares to hand over its title of World Smart City, Steve Bow­yer, Chief Exec­ut­ive of Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough has been invited to speak at the World Expo in Bar­celona to share the Peter­bor­ough suc­cess story with del­eg­ates from around the globe.

Steve said: “We’re really excited to be shar­ing our work with an inter­na­tion­al audi­ence that holds the same ambi­tion as Peter­bor­ough – to cre­ate smart, sus­tain­able cit­ies. Peter­bor­ough has a fant­ast­ic story to tell and events like this provide the per­fect oppor­tun­ity for us to show­case our city to pro­spect­ive investors, busi­nesses and oth­er city lead­ers.”

The Smart City Expo takes place from 15 – 17th Novem­ber in Bar­celona. Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil will be joined by a num­ber of part­ners and spon­sors at the exhib­i­tion, includ­ing: Arcus Glob­al, Brit­ish Stand­ards Insti­tute, Hon­ey­well, Blue Sky, Pin­sent Masons, MyCog­ni­tion and Folk Labs.

Peterborough hosts National Event to share learnings around Future Cities

Peterborough hosts National Event to share learnings around Future Cities

From one of the UK’s four Future City Demon­strat­ors to win­ning Smart City of the Year, Peter­bor­ough hos­ted an event for city lead­ers, aca­dem­ics and industry experts from across the UK to share this jour­ney, the suc­cess and the les­sons learnt.

Mak­ing Smart Cit­ies More Human’ was the title of a one-day con­fer­ence held at the Allia Future Busi­ness Centre, co-hos­ted by Innov­ate UK and Peter­bor­ough DNA, Peterborough’s Future Cit­ies pro­gram­me, delivered in part­ner­ship with Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil.

Future City Pro­grammes have become increas­ingly pop­ular in some of the world’s lead­ing cit­ies to help under­stand and address the increas­ing com­plex­ity of city life and its man­age­ment. In the UK, Innov­ate UK launched the Future Cit­ies Demon­strat­or pro­gram­me and awar­ded Peter­bor­ough a £3mil­lion grant to dis­cov­er the value that could be delivered to a city through integ­rat­ing city ser­vices and sys­tems.

Show­cas­ing Peterborough’s cit­izen cent­ric approach, del­eg­ates heard about the pro­jects and ini­ti­at­ives that have been delivered in the three years since the pro­gram­me com­menced and the value added for busi­nesses, future skills and the city being named Smart City of the Year at the Smart City World Con­gress Awards at the Smart City Expo in Bar­celona in Novem­ber 2015.

Mov­ing for­ward bey­ond the Demon­strat­or, del­eg­ates heard about Peterborough’s Cir­cu­lar City and Digit­al City aspir­a­tions which also included ‘Ques­tion and Answer’ Pan­el Ses­sions with some of the lead­ing people in the respect­ive fields includ­ing rep­res­ent­at­ives from Great­er Lon­don Author­ity, For­um for the Future, Cran­field Uni­ver­sity and BGL Group.

Steve Bow­yer, Chief Exec­ut­ive of Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough and Pro­gram­me Dir­ect­or of Peter­bor­ough DNA, said; ‘Peter­bor­ough is really cre­at­ing a name for itself in the world of smart cit­ies, how­ever I’m often asked what exactly is a smart city and why is it rel­ev­ant to me? In a nut­shell it’s about con­nect­ing places, spaces, people and ser­vices in bet­ter and more intel­li­gent ways, embra­cing tech­no­logy as a way of achiev­ing great­er things.’

Building better cities: The future should not just be smart, but inclusive

In a world where driver­less vehicles cruise by, street lights mon­it­or CO2 emis­sions and lit­ter bins broad­cast break­ing news, it’s easy to lose sight of cit­ies as places for people. Digit­ally-enabled inter­ven­tions, powered by smart sensors and big data, can deliv­er a wealth of bene­fits for cit­izens. But if these inter­ven­tions are not executed in the right way, they can end up ali­en­at­ing the very people they are try­ing to help.

Some of our most switched-on urb­an hubs are exper­i­en­cing an iden­tity crisis as we begin to ques­tion what exactly ‘smart’ is. If smart cit­ies are to remain rel­ev­ant then they must deliv­er more respons­ive exper­i­ences. When it comes to solv­ing some of our biggest urb­an­isa­tion chal­lenges – such as access­ible health­care and income equal­ity – a city is more likely to achieve suc­cess­ful out­comes if it dir­ectly engages cit­izens in that decision-mak­ing and assess­ment pro­cess.

So how do we con­nect places, spaces, people and ser­vices in more intel­li­gent ways? City plan­ners and author­it­ies tra­di­tion­ally oper­ate a silo men­tal­ity when it comes to tack­ling key issues around ser­vice pro­vi­sion. There are dif­fer­ent depart­ments for dif­fer­ent dir­ect­or­ates; health, social care, edu­ca­tion, hous­ing, trans­port, and so on. Smart cit­ies tend to build on this silo approach; the danger here is that any smart inter­ven­tions lack cross-func­tion­al­ity and remain lim­ited in their scope. This can lead to lin­ear sets of data and ana­lys­is.

Break­ing down these silos is the first step to smart cit­ies deliv­er­ing bet­ter value. Fos­ter­ing a cul­ture of open dia­logue and col­lab­or­a­tion between author­it­ies, depart­ments and key stake­hold­ers will enable a more integ­rated, city-led approach to ser­vice pro­vi­sion. The more diverse this level of lead­er­ship is, the bet­ter – and that’s where the cit­izen comes in.

Factor­ing in a range of more human dimen­sions into city think­ing is key. Ima­gine a city as a ‘cat’s cradle’ archi­tec­ture of cit­izen inter­ac­tions. Under­stand­ing the nature of those inter­ac­tions, where they inter­sect and how they inter­lock with each oth­er, is import­ant. But we also need to work out how to influ­ence those inter­ac­tions for great­er effect so they deliv­er genu­ine value.

Ask­ing the right ques­tions of any smart inter­ven­tion injec­ted into this archi­tec­ture can help us under­stand these inter­ac­tions bet­ter. Why does a res­id­ent choose to over­ride cli­mate con­trol sensors installed in their home? How can a city be car­bon-neut­ral if lack of afford­able hous­ing is for­cing com­muters to make longer jour­neys into its centre? At what point does per­son­al data gath­er­ing become too invas­ive that people opt-out? By con­sid­er­ing the human per­spect­ive, this type of learn­ing can help determ­ine wheth­er the inter­ven­tion is right (or wrong), while offer­ing a clear­er assess­ment of cost again­st impact.

Going for­ward, smart cit­ies will increas­ingly depend on the par­ti­cip­a­tion of cit­izens in order to func­tion effect­ively, and this is some­thing we recog­nise with­in Peter­bor­ough. As one of only four UK Future City demon­strat­ors, we are pion­eer­ing a more inclus­ive approach for our urb­an envir­on­ment. We believe we are ahead of the curve in a num­ber of ways.

Our Peter­bor­ough DNA Smart City pro­gram­me is demon­strat­ing the poten­tial of human inter­ac­tion with open data by mak­ing it rel­ev­ant on a num­ber of levels. One example is the 25 weather sta­tions we have installed at schools across the city which are provid­ing rich data on cli­mate and air qual­ity. The data col­lec­ted not only helps raise pupils’ aware­ness of the imme­di­ate envir­on­ment around them, but doubles up as a teach­ing resource and met­eor­o­lo­gic­al aid for stat­utory agen­cies. This effect­ively enables young people to act as intel­li­gence gath­er­ing agents, bring­ing to life the con­cept of ‘smart cit­izenry’.

Another example is our Break­through Think­ing events. These are facil­it­ated work­shops where we bring diverse groups togeth­er face-to-face to think cre­at­ively about how to solve city chal­lenges around themes like zero waste. The focus is very much on ‘real world’ issues that cit­izens are exper­i­en­cing, wheth­er it’s redu­cing house­hold pack­aging waste, or pre­vent­ing old IT equip­ment from being dumped in skips. A Brain­wave Chal­lenge Fund offers up to £20,000 to turn these pro­posed solu­tions into real­ity.

Our ambi­tion to be the UK’s first cir­cu­lar city will only deep­en this col­lab­or­at­ive approach to cit­izen involve­ment. How we integ­rate smart strategies with cir­cu­lar think­ing is a huge chal­lenge, but both are mutu­ally rein­for­cing. Like smart, cir­cu­lar solu­tions are increas­ingly enabled and con­nec­ted by the Inter­net of Things, but we must ensure these inter­ven­tions are demo­crat­ic­ally owned from the bot­tom-up, rather than imposed from the top-down. And where bet­ter to chal­lenge the status quo than with the next gen­er­a­tion? We have already asked young people to ima­gine what a cir­cu­lar Peter­bor­ough might look like through our Smart Sup­pers events.

Har­ness­ing the power of cit­izens through a vari­ety of inter­ven­tions (human-to-human, human-to-machine, machine-to-human and machine-to-machine) will enable a city to build a smarter evid­ence base for decision-mak­ing. That’s not likely to be enough how­ever. How smart cit­ies meas­ure and eval­u­ate their per­form­ance going for­ward will be crit­ic­al, given grow­ing demands around trans­par­ency and gov­ernance.

Met­rics in this field are still emer­ging, but include: PD 8101 – a set of guidelines for smart city plan­ning; the ISO 37120 indic­at­or report­ing stand­ard for city ser­vices and qual­ity of life; and the PAS 181 smart city frame­work, which Peter­bor­ough helped lead on. Peter­bor­ough has also developed its own self-assess­ment tool, a matur­ity mat­rix, which rates cur­rent pro­gress again­st stated aims. An action plan and roadmap is also being cre­ated for Peterborough’s cir­cu­lar city work in con­junc­tion with key stake­hold­ers.

Lastly, remem­ber leg­acy. Smart cit­ies must look to provide not just scal­able solu­tions, but rep­lic­able mod­els that can be rolled out across oth­er urb­an envir­on­ments, regard­less of their size. Recog­nising the beha­vi­our of the city as a whole not only involves match­ing resource out­puts (such as waste heat) to resource inputs (loc­al dis­trict heat­ing net­works), but show­ing the bene­fit to ordin­ary people (afford­able warmth). Peter­bor­ough is plan­ning to cre­ate a series of applic­able blue­prints that can be repro­duced by any city aspir­ing to be smart, per­son­al and con­nec­ted.

Peterborough businesses boost their profits at Circular Economy event

A group of busi­ness del­eg­ates and con­sult­ing pro­fes­sion­als from vari­ous indus­tries across Peter­bor­ough and fur­ther afield, took part in a prac­tic­al work­shop this week to learn more about how adopt­ing cir­cu­lar eco­nomy prin­ciples can bene­fit both their busi­ness and the wider city. The event, which was hos­ted at the Allia Future Busi­ness Centre, was delivered by the Know­ledge Trans­fer Net­work (KTN) as part of the Peter­bor­ough DNA Smart City pro­gram­me.

Sponsored by Allia as part of the city’s Cir­cu­lar Peter­bor­ough ini­ti­at­ive — an ambi­tion to cre­ate a cir­cu­lar city to help Peter­bor­ough effi­ciently man­age the flow of its resources – the event sup­por­ted busi­nesses to take their first prac­tic­al steps towards cir­cu­lar­ity.

The event began with an intro­duc­tion from KTN and the Peter­bor­ough DNA pro­ject team to help del­eg­ates under­stand more about the Cir­cu­lar Eco­nomy approach: what it is, the inten­ded out­come for the city, and examples of how it is already being used in Peter­bor­ough.  Del­eg­ates then par­ti­cip­ated in group activ­it­ies to put the Cir­cu­lar Eco­nomy approach into prac­tice, to chal­lenge their usu­al way of doing busi­ness and explore ways to apply the prin­ciples to their own com­pan­ies.

Steve Bow­yer, Chief Exec­ut­ive of eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment com­pany Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough, said: “Our vis­ion to become a Cir­cu­lar City will put Peter­bor­ough right at the front of smart city think­ing, re-enfor­cing our aspir­a­tion to make Peter­bor­ough a fant­ast­ic place to live and work.  How­ever, to achieve that vis­ion, we need col­lab­or­a­tion on a city-wide scale, with rep­res­ent­at­ives from busi­ness, schools, com­munit­ies as well as city insti­tu­tions.

This event provided prac­tic­al guid­ance to help Peter­bor­ough busi­nesses adopt Cir­cu­lar Eco­nomy prin­ciples — help­ing the city achieve its ambi­tion but also sup­port­ing del­eg­ates to boost their bot­tom line.  We’re keen to work with as many loc­al com­pan­ies as pos­sible so would encour­age any busi­ness with an interest in work­ing in a more eco­nom­ic­ally sus­tain­able way to get in touch.”