MD2301 Proposed launch of A Smarter London Together

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Date signed: 
05 June 2018
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

A Smarter London Together sets out the Mayor’s challenge to make London the smartest city in the world. It addresses the Mayor’s commitments for better digital services, open data, connectivity, digital inclusion, cyber-security and innovation, and City Hall’s plan for the growth of our city to more than 11 million by 2050.

It focuses on getting the ‘foundations for the future’ right, meeting the challenge through five missions:

• Mission 1: More user-designed services
• Mission 2: Strike a New deal for city data
• Mission 3: World-class connectivity and smarter streets
• Mission 4: Enhance digital leadership and skills
• Mission 5: Improve city-wide collaboration

Each ‘mission’ sets out a series of initiatives. These include launches of Civic Innovation Challenges, launch of London Office for Data Analytics, Connected London programme and sets out the Mayor’s ambitions for a pan-London new digital collaboration function we are scoping with the London Councils.

The roadmap is intended to be flexible, rather than a rigid digital masterplan for the city, and is a work plan for the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) working with the Smart London Board.

Its audience is digital leaders in London boroughs, the GLA Group, Government and the NHS, universities, the tech community and civil society to put innovations in data and digital technology to the test for the benefit of all Londoners.
This decision seeks approval to publish A Smarter London Together, with the launch currently proposed to be on 11 June 2018.


That the Mayor approves 'A Smarter London Together' for publication.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Mayor’s strategy for data and digital technology sets out his proposals to enable digital tools to improve the lives of people who live, work or visit in London. It is the result of months of research and engagement with experts, the boroughs and the City of London, the London NHS, civil society and the tech sector. It fully recognises that the Mayor does not have the powers to impose, for example, data and cybersecurity standards in London’s public services on his own. It therefore describes his approach to data and technology, how he will exercise the powers he does have, and how he will work in partnership with the tech community, Government departments, public delivery agencies - and how he will involve citizens.

The strategy:

• launches the new data and technology challenges approved by MD2286 (Civic Innovation Challenge)
• details the responses to recommendations from scoping and piloting work approved by ADD2168 (London Office of Data Analytics), ADD2162 (Sharing Cities Hosting), DD2092 (London Office of Technology and Innovation), and ADD2155 (Digital Leadership Training)
• details investments in technology approved in MD1574 (Sharing Cities: Horizon 2020 programme Smart Cities)

Note minor and non-substantive changes may be made to the appended strategy document before it is published; for example, to include illustrations and as a result of proofing. These changes will be agreed by the Chief Digital Officer.

Expenditure required for 2018/19 to deliver further actions from A Smarter London Together will be subject to approval via separate decision forms as per Mayoral Decision-Making in the GLA.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The purpose of this strategy is to set out a vision and direction for the Mayor’s ambition for data and digital technologies to meet the needs of all Londoners. It is his roadmap for data-led innovation and the foundations for the future application of artificial intelligence (AI) for civic benefit and economic growth. The policies and projects described are intended to have a direct impact on digital services, open data, connectivity, digital inclusion, cyber-security and innovation, and the Mayor’s plan for the growth of our city.

The intended audience is stakeholders interested in data, technology and public services. The first audience includes the London boroughs and the City of London, NHS London, and London’s tech sector. The second audience includes the many cultural, academic and civil society institutions which are thought leaders in this field including the Open Data Institute, Nesta and the Catapults as well as London’s internationally recognised universities and innovation centres.

The following outcomes are expected through the launch of A Smarter London Together:

• Stakeholders comment positively that it sets out a vision around which:

a) City Hall, 33 London boroughs, more than 40 NHS trusts, the five functional bodies of the GLA Group and regulated utilities present a huge market opportunity for innovators to improve how these services work together, learn from each other and scale what works.

b) Cultural, technological or professional changes in the way public services use, manage and share data, accelerate innovation and result in more effective investment decisions with limited budgets.

c) Support is delivered across local government leadership to understand, develop and implement new challenges.

• New initiatives launched in the strategy are effectively delivered (to be reviewed at the end of each financial year, complemented by evaluations of specific initiatives).
• Teams across the GLA family align their work with the goal of scaling innovations through greater collaboration improving social integration.

The delivery of the policies and actions set out in the strategy will help to achieve the Mayor’s objectives to:

• support innovative tech solutions which enable Londoners to access and use public services and information more easily and efficiently
• put an open data strategy at the heart of London government, and bring data from across London’s boroughs and public agencies together, and opening it up to enable quicker decision making, better services, more efficient government, and greater transparency
• improve our connectivity, making it a priority to tackle London’s ‘notspots’, ensuring better access to public-sector property for digital infrastructure, and treating digital infrastructure with the same status as other key public utilities
• channel London’s entrepreneurial spirit and tech expertise into useful TfL services
• promote smart systems such as traffic signal technology to help pedestrians, cyclists and bus users at congestion hotspots
• champion the need for additional funding to plug the social care gap, and the joining up of services to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions
• promote borough innovation and leadership on the ground to shift from reactive care to prevention, early intervention and care closer to home
• develop a cyber-security strategy, working with the police and security services to ensure Londoners and businesses have the information and resources they need to stay safe online
• implement a digital inclusion strategy to ensure that everyone in London, including older Londoners, have the skills, and online access they need to access public services, job opportunities and information
• collaborate with other cities through international networks such as the C40 and ICLEI to develop innovative solutions
• rethink our energy strategy, which means more coordination, the integration of energy systems and infrastructure and the use of smart technology, and lead on work to cut energy bills for Londoners by promoting the roll out of smart meters
• work to improve the skills system in London, ensuring provision more closely matches the needs of businesses in our growth sectors, so that all Londoners can contribute fully and benefit from the opportunities that our world-class economy generates
• develop best practices and measurements for ensuring social integration and social mobility, using technology and other methods to enhance the lives of all Londoners.

Equality comments

Under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, the Mayor and GLA must have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and any conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act; and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status (the duty in respect of this last characteristic is to eliminate unlawful discrimination only). Compliance with the Act may involve, in particular, removing or minimising any disadvantage suffered by those who share a relevant protected characteristic, taking steps to meet the needs of such people; and encouraging them to participate in public life, or in any other activity where their participation is disproportionately low, including tackling prejudice and promoting understanding. In limited circumstances it may require treating people with a protected characteristic more favourably than those without the characteristic.

Although the decision to publish this strategy will not of itself have any direct implications for people with protected characteristics, elements of the strategy, when implemented, may well have such implications. For example, Mission 1 of the document includes policies focussed on attracting more young women and Londoners from a range of backgrounds to work in the technology sector. It also includes policies to ensure that smart and digital initiatives respect London’s diversity and remain responsive to society’s needs. It calls for a refresh of our approach to digital inclusion which was last articulated in 2015, and commits the Mayor to deliver greater gender diversity in the tech workforce of the UK, and promote it across London public services.

As and when further decisions are taken on implementation, the decision-makers will need to have due regard to the matters set out in section 149 Equality Act.

Other considerations

The purpose of this strategy is to set out a vision and direction for the Mayor’s ambition for data and digital technologies to meet the needs of all Londoners.

It makes reference to policies and projects from other Mayoral strategies including Transport, Economic Development, Environment, the London Plan, Culture, Health Inequalities, Policing and Crime, Housing and Sport, highlighting the actions which help data-led innovation and help build the foundations for the future application of artificial intelligence (AI) for civic benefit and economic growth.

We held an 88-day listening exercise between January and May 2018 to Londoners, borough leaders and officers, the GLA family, think-tanks, startups, established companies, and civil society groups and campaigners.

We reached out to Londoners using the ‘Your Commute’ tool on Talk London, which received 88,910 unique page views between 13 March and 23 April. This became the second-most visited site on the Mayor’s website at behind the home page. We asked those who came to the tool to give us their views on Talk London, and 1,755 people filled in the survey. We also commissioned from YouGov a representative survey between 16th – 19th April 2018, with a response of 1,097 London adults.

The public wanted us to make sure that we had oversight of data held by the public sector and its contractors, to be careful about sharing their location data without good reason, that city data is used only for benefit, and that those most in need receive the most support. Ideas from civil society centred around governance, responsible technology, and inclusion. Boroughs asked us to include their residents in digital services, sharing knowledge on what works, and to collaborate to promote connectivity. Think tanks asked us to think carefully about the federated nature of data and datastores and how we use behavioural science in our solutions. We received ideas from startups around co-design, procurement, and access to data, and established companies told us that our understanding of the value of data assets needs to improve, and we need take the lead and define open standards and APIs.

The Chief Digital Officer and officials at City Hall spoke and listened at more than 50 events across London and the UK, including Chief Executives London Committee (London Councils); London & Partners smart city fireside chat; CivTech forum roundtable; NHS London CIO forum; London Borough CIO forum; and Manchester Digital Summit

The Chief Digital Officer spoke and listened at events internationally at SXSW, Austin; and the London and San Francisco CDO forum.
Our capstone event was Smart London Camp, an unconference with more than 250 registered attendees at City Hall on 21 April 2018. An unconference means that the agenda was set on the day. For many, this was their first unconference but there was no shortage of people keen to pitch their session ideas. In total, more than 50 different sessions were pitched and voted on covering topics such as:

• ‘How do we decide what information is collected on our streets?’
• ‘How do we use data to improve emergency services?’
• ‘How to use citizen science to change the city?’

Financial comments

There are no direct financial implications to the GLA associated with the publication and launch of A Smarter London Together.

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Review of A Smarter London Together by the Mayor

1-3 June 2018

Mayoral Launch of A Smarter London Together

11 June 2018

Chief Digital Officer Launch of A Smarter London Together

12 June 2018

Evaluation (‘Report Cards’)

Start: June 2019

End: June 2021

Appendices and supporting papers

The final report for 'A Smarter London Together' can be found here.

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