How cities work is changing. Developments in software, hardware and telecom networks are enabling more interaction between people and places and more machine-to-machine communication, creating an internet of things. Opening-up and making sense of this is giving citizens more ability to interact, work and play with their city. Using data sensors, smart city technologies will be able to respond in real-time to everyday events including congestion, waste management, entertainment events, e-democracy, energy supply and more. Together we are creating an open programmable city.
Bristol is home to research and development projects that use Bristol’s own digital infrastructure with: fibre in the ground; a mesh bouncing from lamppost to lamppost across the City; and a mile of experimental wireless connectivity along Harbourside. These networks are controlled in Software – creating a Software Defined Network – based on the OpenFlow standard. It uses Network Function Virtualisation to make the infrastructure super-fluid, sliceable, and usable by many different projects at once. Each project is managed by ’Bristol Is Open’ – a joint venture between the University of Bristol and Bristol City Council.