Basingstoke has to undergo a technological revamp to give its residents a better quality of life.
That is the vision of the Smart Basingstoke programme, an ambitious plan to adopt smart technology that was discussed in a meeting on Monday.
The programme aims to support economic growth through ‘innovation and job creation’, improve access to services and support those who need help through digital solutions to ‘enable residents to live independently’.
The study also identifies how existing projects will help play a part in the town’s transformation.
The schemes include the Manydown development that will provide up to 3,520 new homes in the area, the existing transport strategy that outlines plans to improve road infrastructure, as well as the Basing View regeneration scheme and the 5G test bed.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council discussed the scheme at a meeting.
Cllr Hannah Golding, cabinet member for digital innovation and inclusion, said: “The project has an ambitious agenda, building on assets we already have such as the 5G test bed. It aims to deliver in the key areas of transport, housing and health – areas that impact all who live here.
“The council is in a strong position to work within these networks to bring in new technology and more connected ways of working.”
Part of the vision is adopting a smart city plan, which would tap into data to manage congestion, maximise energy efficiency, enhance public security and allocating resources where they are needed. This could mean, for instance, that council-run services will use more accessible cloud-based technology to respond to reports and concerns of residents, including those who are vulnerable.
Research carried out by independent consultants UrbanTide concludes that not proceeding with the recommendations of the Smart Basingstoke study would ‘restrict growth’ and affect the borough’s ‘attractiveness as a place to live, visit and work’.
There is currently no dedicated budget to carry out the Smart Basingstoke programme but an allocation of £25,000 has been made through the Town Centre Programme budget to support any initial developments.
The plans will be formally submitted to cabinet for a decision in March 2018.