Theo Blackwell, London’s first Chief Digital Officer, wants to create a Smart London plan where digital innovation and effective use of data take centre stage.
To gauge how you feel about various uses of data to improve our city, we hosted a survey and a series of discussions. But first, we wanted to spark your interest.
Anyone who uses the Tube regularly could find out instantly how many other people shared their exact same journey from start to end station. It was good fun, but it proved a serious point: using data like this can help improve services.
The Tube journey tool turned out to be very popular and you were the first ones to try it out. Between 13 March and 23 April, almost 90,000 individual people used it and many shared it widely on social media. It got some great media coverage as well, including articles by The Evening Standard, The Londonist, Time Out, and City AM - plus a lively discussion on Reddit.
If you haven’t tried it, please give it a go. The answer might surprise you.
Let’s talk data
More than 1,700 of you got involved further and took our Smart London survey. Over 200 of you also shared your views in our discussions.
We wanted you to think about the sharing of personal data with some services, what solutions digital innovation can offer London, the implications of the new data protection law, the availability of broadband internet in your local area and much more.
Here’s what some of you said:
“Sharing personal data is necessary but should be kept to a bare minimum. It is only a matter of time before that data is hacked or leaked.”
“No data sharing. I have zero confidence in these public sector organisations to keep our data safe.”
“It makes perfect sense to collect data that does not identify individual people and use it to improve services, infrastructure, safety, etc.”
“I work from home, so need a good fast broadband. I pay for this but do not always receive the service level I pay for.”
“I would like there to be low cost courses to retrain us in the higher level IT skills - to help deal with the skills shortage and to give older people
the chance for higher paid work.”
London’s Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell, is grateful for all of your responses. In the video below, he shares how your input is helping to shape the final Smart London Plan.
The Smart London Plan will be launched during London Tech Week (11-17 June). We’ll keep you posted.