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What’s so smart about ‘smart places’? We’ll reveal all at our South and South West event in Bristol – backed up with the latest research. 

The IT industry loves acronyms and phrases like ‘smart cities’ that slip off the tongue and entice investments in new technology. After all, who doesn’t like the idea of being ‘smart’, ‘agile’ or ‘digitally transformed’ (rather than ‘dumb’, ‘slow’ or ‘old fashioned’)? 

But what is the reality about a ‘smart’ future for local services? Which technologies offer the benefits that truly justify the investment and risk? Where to start to become ‘smarter’? And how smart do you really need to be? 

Perhaps more importantly, what is the emerging role of councils in community development, ensuring inclusive, connected and safe civic digital infrastructures that deliver efficiencies, service benefits and help to tackle economic and social challenges that face today’s public services? 

Building on Socitm’s smart places research, independent digital analyst Jos Creese will look at how to balance the risks and the benefits, with practical guidance for councils, whether in urban or rural areas. It will encourage an outward-looking approach to digital deployment that should, in the longer term, truly transform local public services, and, more importantly, empower and protect communities and citizens, not just serve the interests of IT suppliers. 

The event is open for registration now, with places FREE for Socitm South and South West members.