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High Prize Awaits City Of The Future

300px David Willetts High Prize Awaits City Of The Future
English: David Willetts speaking at the Big Society policy launch, Coin St, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UK – £24m of Government funding has been promised to one enterprising British city. The Future Cities Demonstrator competition to find ‘a city for the future’ was launched earlier this week by The Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

 To be eligible for a grant application a city or urban area must have at least 125,000 residents. From the applicants, twenty will be chosen and each awarded a £50k grant to trial the viability of their plans. One of them will be the winner of the £24m, with which they will produce a large-scale demonstration model of their scheme.

The TSB will require applicants to determine methods of integrating transport, communications and public services to boost the local economy. Applicants will also have to show how they plan to enhance their society’s well-being and lessen environmental impact. These factors must be taken into account when cities tailor their proposals.

David Willetts, the Minister of State for Universities and Science, said that with ongoing technological advancements people cannot expect their cities to remain static. They are up against major challenges such as ever-changing populations and demographics, congestion, waste and pressure both on resources and services — all of which stress the requirement for our cities of the future to have in place the best available, cohesive substructure in order to address these challenges.

TSB’s chief executive Iain Gray spoke about future cities gaining from innovative approaches from companies seeking to compete in providing them with resourceful, robust and attractive environments. He said that the UK is well placed to take advantage of this increasing demand having world-leading companies in diverse fields.

The government’s objective is for the programme to foster debate and offer  multinationals and home grown enterprises an incentive to work in conjunction with cities to create more effective, integrated systems and commodities while enabling them to test systems that may already be in the pipeline.

Fifty per cent of the world’s population currently reside in urban areas. Predictions that in less than twenty years approximately five billion people will live in urban areas should provide the necessary impetus for change to bring about city living environments that are more sustainable.

Until then, this competition could provide cities and companies with the chance to trial and evaluate new ideas and realise the results earlier than they ever anticipated.

 High Prize Awaits City Of The Future

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