Bristol is Open

Bristol Is Open is a joint venture between the University of Bristol and Bristol City Council. It is funded by local, national and European governments along with academic research funding and also by the private sector. We are delivering research and development initiatives that contribute to the development of a smart city.

What is a Smart City?

By 2030, urban areas are projected to house 60 per cent of people globally and one in every three people will live in cities with at least half a million inhabitants.

Cities and their inhabitants face numerous constraints including land availability, population growth, and limited resources. Cities must also look for ways to improve their citizens’ and visitors’ standard of living. Smart cities are a way to overcome these barriers and make improvements. Technology in plays a central role in any smart city development. It provides the means for connecting infrastructures (networks, sensors, devices) and collaboration between the stakeholders. This includes citizens, city authorities, private sector companies, innovators, entrepreneurs and academia.

But a successful smart city not just about technology but also about the management framework supporting these technologies.

What are we doing?

Bristol has been recognised in the UK Smart Cities Index 2017 as the U.K.’s leading smart city. Leading the way in areas such as open data access, energy innovation, and community engagement. Bristol has also been recognised for its smart city work winning a Glomo Smart City Award (Judges Choice) in 2018.

Small sensors, including the smart phones and GPS devices of willing participants, will supply three new fast networks in the centre of Bristol with information about many aspects of city life. This will include energy, air quality and traffic flows. A city operating system will dynamically host this machine-to-machine communication, allowing the development of a wide range of applications.

Take a look at the overview page for more about what we are doing.

Latest News


Air pollution is bad for our health – evidence continues to mount of just what harm it can do. BUT, what can you do to help yourself if you are walking around the city – plus win a £20 Amazon voucher?

Our new app has been developed to help – simply enter your journey details and you will be offered a choice of healthier routes. We are now looking for volunteers to take part in a trial for a month and we’d love you to take part.

Simply register your interest (see below) and we will send you further details.


The vibrant spirit of Bristol is famous – from great street art to emerging musicians. Why not share what you see with fellow citizens – they might want to see it as well!

MinaRepo offers an easy way of sharing photos of graffiti, musicians – anything that will spread a little happiness. Post a photo with the location and it’s ready for other people to see.


You can sign up for either or both trials – they will both run for a month. As a token of out appreciation, there will be a £20 Amazon e-voucher (subject to availability) given out to all participants who successfully complete both trials (maximum 1 voucher per participant. 100 e-vouchers available).