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

Participate in the BigClouT Citizen Engagement Project

Bristol is Open, Bristol’s own research and development testbed are running technology projects that address real-life problems. We would like to engage real citizens of Bristol in a live technology trial to help test an exciting tool in its development stages.
Smart Mobility

Air pollution is a known problem in Bristol – but it is possible to take healthier routes with the Smart Mobility tool.  It offers alternative walking routes (eg to work) and provides information on distance and air quality, thus making choices easily available.   Users can provide feedback – helping future developments meet the needs of Bristol citizens.


The Street Art and Music reporting tool allows you to take pictures of great street art, such as the latest Banksy spotting, and musicians, tag their location and leave a comment thus sharing with other users where they could enjoy the same experience. At the end of the trial, there will be an opportunity to provide feedback and recommendations back to the developers on how good the tool is and how it can contribute to promoting the vibrant and creative spirit of our city.

Participant Reward

The trial will last 1 month with the participants using the tools whenever convenient on your daily commute or when you see something exciting worth sharing. As a token of our appreciation for your enthusiasm, 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