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Smart City Commission

Birmingham's Smart City Commission Vision has been launched by Cllr James McKay (Cabinet Member for Safe, Green and Smart City) and sets out Birmingham's ambition to respond to the city's challenges, now and into the future. We welcome your views and involvement to develop the detailed action plan and roadmap.

Birmingham is acknowledged for its industrial heritage and as a powerhouse of the industrial revolution that was borne out of a dynamic spirit of entrepreneurial collaboration with strong civic leadership to provide for its citizens.

Cities everywhere are now finding themselves challenged on many levels:

Lunar Statue
  1. a slow economy
  2. a growing but also ageing population putting existing services under strain
  3. infrastructure that is no longer fit for purpose
  4. rapid technological change

With these challenges, comes the momentum and exciting opportunity to redefine our city that will secure our sustainability and prosperity for decades to come.

Focus of the Smart City Commission

The Smart City Commission will shape Birmingham as a city ready to deal with the challenges of the future.

The City has already started its journey towards a smart connectivity, which will be crucial in bringing solutions to the challenges we face. We are engaging our partners and businesses to ensure we maximise our future opportunities as well as address our current challenges. The City is recognised by central government as taking a strategic lead on this agenda and we want to build on this initial foundation.

We need to work in collaboration with all our partners, to gain access to greater intelligence and information. Better data sharing, for example, is essential if we are to optimise the use of our City systems. The City needs to use all its assets to add value to existing activities, innovate service delivery and stimulate the economy.

The Commission will use its expertise to shape Birmingham's plans for new and emerging technologies and approaches, bringing its creativity to bear on the challenges we collectively face.

Working Principles of the Smart City Commission

  • To create the vision and set strategic direction for the city
  • To oversee the development and delivery of the Smart City programme
  • To build city wide relationships with relevant organisations or individual stakeholders to cooperate and comply with 'future city' plans and frameworks
  • To use institutional and personal connections to drawn down national and international expertise to inform Birmingham's plans
  • To facilitate communication between existing initiatives and directly communicate future city plans and activities
  • To establish a Smart City Charter, with a shared vision and collective ownership.


The Commission will be a permanent body, chaired by the Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City. Its immediate task will be to produce a Smart City vision and high level action plan for Birmingham, by Winter 2012. To create this vision and plan the Commission will meet as follows:

  1. 26 July 2012
  2. 27 September 2012
  3. 8 November 2012
  4. 15 February 2013

After the initial report to Cabinet, work needs to start on:

  • Setting up formal Management Board
  • Develop the future city programme and high level implementation plan for the next 5 years (the operational vision)
  • Review and advise on the best use of changing technologies to maximise benefits for citizens and the economy
  • Challenge suitability of existing infrastructure and processes
  • Work with all other commissions to address synergies and ensure an integrated city approach
  • Identify funding and resources to support and deliver activity
  • Agree branding and identity for Smart City programme

Digital Birmingham is a Birmingham City Council initiative and part of a city wide strategic partnership of more than 40 public, private and voluntary organisations

eGovernment National Awards - Winner 2008