Bristol is known as a thriving and dynamic city. An award winning place to live, work and study with a young, diverse and growing population. Bristol is internationally recognised for innovative and high value industries such as advanced engineering and the low carbon sector. We have a strong professional and financial service sector and we are home to successful digital and creative industries.

However, like all places, we have our challenges. Severe shortages of quality, affordable homes combined with decades of under investment in our transport network have left communities isolated from economic opportunity. 15% of our residents live in some of the most deprived areas in England. Environmental emergencies mean that solving these competing issues must be done in a way which minimises our impact on nature and is sustainable.

These systemic challenges cannot be changed overnight. But working together and collaboratively as One City to set out shared priorities and goals we can identify areas of focus for investment and innovation. The emergence of Covid-19, has had a profound impact on our city and all of our lives. But as we recover and rebuild from this crisis we continue to welcome partners who share our values and can help us build Bristol as a city of hope.

Connecting Bristol
Connecting Bristol is driven by the needs of people who live and work in Bristol, and how technology can play a part in creating a more equal future. The Connecting Bristol strategy supports the One City Plan, which outlines the vision for the city up to 2050.

CDEI/BCC – Data Ethics & Governance project

Bristol City Council has been working in partnership with the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) to develop an ethical data governance framework.

Supporting the ambitions of its One City Plan, the Council is seeking to harness the power of data to make the city a more fair and inclusive place. The approach is being used to inform data governance for Insight Bristol. Insight Bristol is an Interagency analytics hub to support the Council’s Troubled Families Programme. Insight Bristol aims to deliver better outcomes for children at risk through a range of tools and analysis that is then integrated with operational practice by council teams.

Established by the UK government in 2018 the CDEI has a unique remit: to help the UK navigate the ethical challenges presented by AI and datadriven technology.

REPLICATE (REnaissance of PLaces with Innovative Citizenship And TEchnologies)
This is a five year European research and development project, which receives funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. The project is trialling integrated energy, mobility and ICT solutions across three cities – San Sebastian in Spain, Florence in Italy and Bristol in Great Britain.

In Bristol, the REPLICATE research project is led by Bristol City Council and is supported by the city’s universities and eight local partners who have expertise in smart energy, smart mobility, intelligent data, digital infrastructure and digital inclusion. They are co-creating solutions in three areas of Bristol, aiming to ensure wellbeing of citizens while reducing Bristol’s CO2 emissions and engaging citizens to help them make more considered decisions on their energy use and travel patterns. The research project will also contribute towards Bristol’s ambition to be carbon neutral and run entirely on clean energy by 2030.

Welcome Aboard – Open Data Programme
The Open Data Programme works closely with other Bristol City Council departments to enable data to be shared and built-on by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose.

The programme has focused on maintaining the Open Data Bristol Platform which freely provides over 210 quality data sets on a range of themes such as population, education, leisure and tourism, and transport. Through the programme’s Our Data initiative, over 12 separate stakeholder events have been undertaken to promote awareness and utilisation of the platform. One output being the Period Friendly Bristol web app, which supports the Mayor’s 2019 One City priority of addressing period poverty. Another high profile hackathon, sponsored by Innovate UK, looked at data
solutions to support Bristol and Bath around homelessness and housing.

Open Programmable City Region
To support some of the ambitions of the connected city projects, it’s vital the right infrastructure is in place. Building on existing Bristol is Open infrastructure we have implemented a scalable, reliable, secure Smart City Cloud platform and a hyper fast network connecting the city centre to south Bristol. The network offers Wi-Fi, LTE and LoRaWAN connectivity giving us city wide ‘capture’ capability for thousands of IoT (Internet of Things) devices gathering data about the City. The platform is capable of processing large data and hosts a central dashboard for monitoring parameters of the city.

Smart Speakers Project
The City Innovation Team are working with a multi-disciplinary team including local universities, technology companies, Amazon and a care provider to pilot the potential of voice assistants to alleviate loneliness, improve well-being and better understand their potential for supporting people to live independently. The pilot will consider how people respond to having a voice assistant in their homes, and provide insight to the Better Lives Programme and Adult Social Care teams within the City Council.

During the pandemic, the team have adapted the planned approach to rapidly deploy 30 test units out via a care partner provider. Early insights point to benefits relating to connecting with family and friends and improving digital skills. The project will be expanded when COVID restrictions permit to a wider cohort for a longer duration.

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