ODI Leeds talks #OpenSmartCities @ Wuthering Bytes – sign up here

24 Aug, 2016

ODI Leeds is running a full-day workshop on 6 September on Open Smart Cities at the forthcoming Wuthering Bytes Festival. Here’s Amy Evans to explain what it’s all about and how you can get involved.

What is a ‘smart city?’

Wikipedia defines it as ‘an urban development that uses information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets.’ Assets include, but are not limited to, local departments, schools, libraries, transport systems, hospitals, power plants, waste management, water supply, law enforcement, and other community services. The ultimate aim is to collect and monitor the data generated by citizens to better improve the city via services, systems, etc.

The challenge

The challenge for smart city projects is that they are typified as top-down systems, often utilising, what appears to some, big-brother style control centre with actual control of the city in the hands of just a few. Are decisions made by faceless organisations with no input from citizens at all or do we have a say?

This is our challenge and provocation – can we build a smart city that uses the best technology and embraces change but also is open, uses open innovation and works from the bottom-up, empowering citizens to shape their city?

ODI Leeds Open Smart Cities event

Come to our workshop

On Tuesday 6th September at Hebden Bridge Town Hall, ODI Leeds will be holding a one day workshop on the people-centred smart city. Working with some amazing partners – including Leeds City Council, Bradford Council, Calderdale Council and Data Works, Open Data Manchester, the Open Data Institute, Data Mill North, Manchester City Verve, MySociety,, Highways England, and TransDev Innovation – the team at ODI Leeds have gathered some brilliant innovators to discuss, debate, and help create new ideas for smart cities.

Speakers include:

  • Tom Forth and Giles Perkins (Mouchel) talking about transport
  • Julian Tait from Things Network Manchester covering Internet-of-Things
  • Steve Brown from Smart Klub looking at energy solutions
  • Giles Dring bringing third sector and community resilience to smart cities
  • Paul Connell from ODI Leeds on commercial and business models


Excitingly, the workshop launches’s ‘runway of events’, where they will be travelling around the country to talk about ‘mobility as a service.’ In Hebden Bridge, they will discuss and develop the impact of services like Uber on smart cities and how to open the industry for the benefit of citizens.

Hebden Bridge Town Hall is a stunning venue and it promises to be a thought-provoking and challenging day. Tickets are still available from Eventbrite and includes lunch and refreshments.

If you have an interest in people-powered change and taking control of the cities where you live and work, no matter what your background or experience with technology, this is the perfect workshop for you.

Find out more about Wuthering Bytes and sign up for the ODI Leeds Open Smart Cities event here.

About the author: Amy has a background in the creative arts, specialising in digital illustration and animation. Projects have ranged from icon design and basic UI prototypes to illustrated maps and comics. Her interest in the world of data is based around telling stories with data and creating info-graphics. She is passionate about environmental and animal welfare issues, and thinks using data stories is the ideal way to reach audiences and change attitudes. At ODI Leeds, she leads the charge in social media and comms, as well as being on hand for any visual work that might be needed.

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