Peterborough wins Smart City of the Year 2015

Peter­bor­ough has been named Smart City of the Year 2015 at a glit­ter­ing awards cere­mony in Bar­celona this week, atten­ded by busi­ness del­eg­ates, entre­pren­eurs and city rep­res­ent­at­ives from around the world.

The World Smart City Con­gress is the key annu­al event for smart cit­ies organ­ised by Fira de Bar­celona. The awards were presen­ted on 18th Novem­ber at a cere­mony atten­ded by rep­res­ent­at­ives of the cit­ies and com­pan­ies short­l­is­ted in four cat­egor­ies, includ­ing Smart City of the Year. The Bar­celona-based con­gress worked with 7 inter­na­tion­al experts to eval­u­ate 265 entries from 52 coun­tries.

Short­l­is­ted cit­ies in the Smart City of the Year 2015 included Moscow and Dubai, but judges were impressed with Peterborough’s com­mit­ment to becom­ing the UK’s first cir­cu­lar city and its envir­on­ment cap­it­al vis­ion. Peterborough’s col­lab­or­at­ive approach to cit­izen involve­ment, also con­vinced the awards jury that Peter­bor­ough should win the award.

Delivered by Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment com­pany, Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough, the Peter­bor­ough DNA Smart City pro­gram­me focuses on growth, innov­a­tion, skills and sus­tain­ab­il­ity with the goal of integ­rat­ing city ser­vices and sys­tems to make Peter­bor­ough a bet­ter place to live and work.

Steve Bow­yer, Chief Exec­ut­ive of Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough and Dir­ect­or of the Peter­bor­ough DNA pro­gram­me, said: “This award puts Peter­bor­ough well and truly on the inter­na­tion­al stage and pos­i­tions us as a thought lead­er in smart and future city think­ing. This is a huge trib­ute to all the people involved in the pro­ject and to the busi­nesses and cit­izens of Peter­bor­ough”.

Coun­cil­lor John Holdi­ch, Lead­er of Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, said: “This is a fant­ast­ic achieve­ment for every­one involved and for the city of Peter­bor­ough.”

Smart Supper

On Thursday 13th Novem­ber 2014, an audi­ence of over 50 loc­al busi­nesses and city lead­ers heard from six teams of stu­dents from loc­al schools as they pitched their busi­ness ideas on how to encour­age sus­tain­able travel with­in Peter­bor­ough.

Peterborough residents win DNA bursary scheme to study for a Master’s degree in Sustainability

Peterborough residents win DNA bursary scheme to study for a Master’s degree in Sustainability

Robin Eagle and Clare Foster are the two Peter­bor­ough cit­izens who have been awar­ded bursar­ies to study a Master’s degree in Sus­tain­ab­il­ity and con­trib­ute to devel­op­ing Peter­bor­ough as a future city.

As part of the Peter­bor­ough DNA pro­gram­me the bursary will help ensure the city has the right skills to take advant­age of emer­ging green mar­kets.

The MSc in Sus­tain­ab­il­ity: Work­ing for Pos­it­ive Change has been developed in part­ner­ship with Anglia Ruskin Uni­ver­sity, the Eden Pro­ject and Change Agents UK. The course will enable stu­dents to use their skills to feed back into the DNA pro­gram­me and con­trib­ute towards build­ing a more sus­tain­able city.

The bursary scheme is a key part of Peter­bor­ough DNA, says Steve Bow­yer DNA Pro­gram­me Dir­ect­or and Act­ing Chief Exec­ut­ive of Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough, “Devel­op­ing these kinds of loc­al skills is vital to build­ing a city that can meet the chal­lenges and oppor­tun­it­ies of the future. It also plays a role in devel­op­ing the loc­al uni­ver­sity offer in the city and we have worked closely with Uni­ver­sity Centre Peter­bor­ough to include a num­ber of social net­works and events at UCP.”

Robin Eagle, one of the two stu­dents who is being fun­ded said: “I couldn’t be more grate­ful for the oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough DNA has provided me with. For some years I had been seek­ing to start a career in sus­tain­ab­il­ity and con­ser­va­tion, but had always lacked the exper­i­ence neces­sary to secure an intern­ship or job. The mas­ters with Anglia Ruskin will give me the know­ledge and skills needed to take the next step and make a dif­fer­ence.”

This year’s course runs for a peri­od of 12 months until Septem­ber 2015.

Robin and Clare will receive full fund­ing for the dis­tance-learn­ing course in the MSc Sus­tain­ab­il­ity: Work­ing for Pos­it­ive Change ( The bursary will cov­er course fees and con­trib­ute towards liv­ing expenses.

Smart Supper

Smart Supper

Peterborough’s second Smart Sup­per — Valu­ing Water

Date: Thursday 19th March

Time: 6.30–9 pm

Where: Uni­ver­sity Centre Peter­bor­ough, Park Cres­cent Cam­pus

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of the first Smart Sup­per last year, Peter­bor­ough DNA would like to invite you to our second smart sup­per.

Join us at an event which helps young people from schools across the city to come up with ideas to solve city chal­lenges.

The idea is that all guests pay £10 (plus a £1.25 book­ing fee) for a tick­et, for this they receive a light sup­per and spend the even­ing listen­ing to pitches from loc­al school chil­dren about their busi­ness ideas. At the end of the even­ing every­one votes for their favour­ite pitch and the win­ning pitch receives the profit from the night to invest in mak­ing their idea hap­pen — likely to be about £150.

The chal­lenge for this event is ‘how do we encour­age people to value water in Peter­bor­ough’.

You are wel­come to come on your own, with a part­ner or organ­ise to come with col­leagues from the office to what we hope to be a very inspir­ing even­ing.

To find out more about the event, please read the blog entries of some the attendees of the last Smart Sup­per on Brain­wave Innov­a­tions, Peterborough’s innov­a­tion plat­form.

Unfor­tu­nately all the places for this Smart Sup­per have now been taken.

Peterborough Innovation Week success

Peterborough Innovation Week success

Peter­bor­ough DNA ran its first Innov­a­tion Week from Sat­urday 8th–Sat­urday 15th Novem­ber with a num­ber of events for loc­al people, schools and busi­nesses to get involved in to encour­age cre­at­ive think­ing and to help get good ideas off the ground.

Children’s Uni­ver­sity

The week kicked off with the Children’s Uni­ver­sity on Sat­urday 8th Novem­ber, where 50 chil­dren from across the city learned how to become Envir­on­ment Super Her­oes and encour­age sus­tain­ab­il­ity with­in the city.

Break­through Think­ing Work­shop

Wed­nes­day 12th Novem­ber saw the final install­ment of the Break­through Think­ing work­shops, facil­it­ated by Dr. Dav­id Hall, founder of Peter­bor­ough Ideas Centre. Thirty busi­nesses, com­munit­ies, schools, pub­lic sec­tor rep­res­ent­at­ives and not-for-profit organ­isa­tions came togeth­er to think dif­fer­ently about loc­al chal­lenges. The work­shops were held as part of DNA’s Brain­wave Innov­a­tions pro­ject, which matches innov­at­ive solu­tions to city chal­lenges. If you have an innov­at­ive busi­ness idea to improve the city, find out about Brainwave’s fund­ing oppor­tun­it­ies at Brain­wave Innov­a­tions.

Smart Sup­per

On Thursday 13th Novem­ber, an audi­ence of over 50 loc­al busi­nesses and city lead­ers heard from six teams of stu­dents from loc­al schools as they pitched their busi­ness ideas on how to encour­age sus­tain­able travel with­in Peter­bor­ough. The win­ning team, Green Days, received £250 to help launch their con­cept. Jes­sica Dix­on-Walker, a mem­ber of Green Days from Hamp­ton Col­lege said: “Our idea is an iPhone app called Sus­tain A Step, which lets people earn points for trav­el­ling in sus­tain­able ways such as walk­ing and cyc­ling. When someone earns enough points they can exchange them for retail vouch­ers. We really enjoyed the Smart Sup­per event and we can’t wait to start design­ing our new app”. Uni­ver­sity Centre Peter­bor­ough (UCP) will now be work­ing along­side the stu­dents to bring their busi­ness idea to life. Oth­er ideas put for­ward includ­ing a ‘walk­ing bus’ and a sus­tain­able bike rack. Travelchoice in Peter­bor­ough were so impressed by the stu­dents they donated £100 to every team to help launch their busi­ness con­cept.

Open City Hack­a­thon

Innov­a­tion Week con­cluded with Peterborough’s first 24-hour hack­a­thon which star­ted on Fri­day 14th Novem­ber, where developers, design­ers, pho­to­graph­ers and user exper­i­ence pro­fes­sion­als col­lab­or­ated to cre­ate con­tent for the inter­act­ive screen that will be installed on Long Cause­way in the City Centre next year. The event was run in part­ner­ship with BGL Group’s com­parethemar­ket and Peter­bor­ough DNA’s Open City pro­ject. Mem­bers of the pub­lic were wel­comed into the cathedral’s Beck­et Chapel, and a num­ber of city lead­ers such as Cllr Mar­co Cer­este, Cllr Chris Harper and Cllr Nigel North popped in to see the team in action.

DNA Pro­gram­me Dir­ect­or and Act­ing Chief Exec­ut­ive of Oppor­tun­ity Peter­bor­ough, Steve Bow­yer said, “Peter­bor­ough DNA is all about shap­ing a smarter, more sus­tain­able city, and cam­paigns like Innov­a­tion Week prove that many of the answers lie with our loc­al com­munit­ies and busi­nesses. We’d like to say a big thank you to every­one who got involved with Innov­a­tion Week and helped sup­port the events. We look for­ward to more pro­jects like this that har­ness loc­al people’s cre­ativ­ity and help make Peter­bor­ough a bet­ter place for every­one to live and work.”

£30k grant to undertake in-depth academic research into the Peterborough DNA programme

Last year Peter­bor­ough was one of only four UK cit­ies to be short­l­is­ted as a final­ist in the Tech­no­logy Strategy Board’s Future Cit­ies Demon­strat­or com­pet­i­tion. The aim of the com­pet­i­tion was to demon­strate how a city of the future might work more effect­ively, effi­ciently and sus­tain­ably. The bid, named ‘Peter­bor­ough DNA’, built on the excel­lent work and innov­a­tion already under­way in the city and set out how innov­a­tion could trans­form the city through eco­nom­ic and envir­on­ment­al sus­tain­ab­il­ity.

We are now 20 months into the pro­gram­me and we believe that the time is right to appoint an aca­dem­ic, or col­lab­or­a­tion of aca­dem­ic insti­tu­tions, to under­take in depth research into the impacts of the pro­gram­me both now and for the future.

Applic­a­tions for this grant is now closed.