SMARTening the High Street

Abstract

The project will develop and apply state-of-the-art digital solutions utilising the functionality of the Living PlanIT Urban Operating System with a sensor network to enhance existing physical services in the high street. Building on, but customising, a solution developed and in beta test at London City Airport it will:
(1) Use a coherent digital platform for integration, data articulation, and common services
(2) Use a coherent smartphone application at town centre level to provide integrated experiences with maximum convenience, data flow, and penetration
(3) Successively build specific digital animations of the high street with stakeholders to bring improved experiences, revenues, and sustainable business models.
The output of the project will include refined business and operating models which lower barriers of entry and allow adaptation to differing levels of involvement from different classes of user. It will allow initial projects to vary from owner/developer sponsored to council sponsored to chamber-of-commerce or community-sponsored engagements. Either way, the monetization of services through increased footfall and revenue can help reverse the trend of depopulated high streets and, with sensible planning and targeting, lead to the right local mix of customers, retailers and service providers for any given locale to enable vibrant, sustainable places which are attractive and convenient for residents and visitors alike.
In the Phase 1 feasibility study we will work closely with stakeholders, predominantly in Yeovil and Basingstoke to establish their concerns and challenges, priorities for improvement and barriers to implementation of new services. We will establish how best digital services can enhance existing high street offerings, assess current data sources, establish priorities for new data capture and determine the steps needed to develop services tailored to specific local needs. Phase 2 will implement an advanced pilot to demonstrate tangible benefits to all high street stakeholders.
The project will be led by Critical Software, with Living PlanIT, supported by high street owners and retailers in Yeovil and Basingstoke. It will build on experience of recent smart city initiatives in the UK, Europe and Brazil and will draw on the expertise and experience of a wide range of organisations looking to provide digital retail and smart city solutions via stakeholder groups.
We believe there is sufficient historical precedent and in-progress success to position our offering as a sustainable, reusable proposition. The project, if funded, will allow us to pilot the deployment of a consistent framework which can then be replicated to any town centre location which has the vision and political will to make it happen.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Critical Software Technologies Limited, SOUTHAMPTON £99,487 £ 99,487

Publications

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