Mapping Newcastle’s smart city ecosystem

Defining Newcastle's System of Systems


What is the current and future potential of Newcastle's smart city ecosystem?

Newcastle City Council and its partners see a smart and connected city as an opportunity to radically transform the delivery of public services and infrastructure.

This is motivated by achieving better outcomes for citizens, cost savings and operational gains. It also reflects the ambition to position Newcastle as a globally recognised digital destination and tech hub

Urban Foresight was tasked to help build a shared understanding of the potential impacts of smart city technologies and services in the city.


£200 million by 2020

Our analysis established that smart cities could be worth up to £200 million to Newcastle’s economy by 2020.

Analysis of different service areas also helped to further define the potential impacts and beneficiaries of investments in new smart city technologies and services in the city.


Mapping the System of Systems

A key goal in achieving smarter cities is to achieve technical and commercial integration between different systems.

This requires a detailed understanding of the city’s systems, suppliers and contractual arrangements across different service areas. 

Urban Foresight’s five-step systems mapping approach was used to define the systems that operate in Newcastle and the planned developments in urban services and infrastructure networks.

This segmented the city’s various smart assets and services into complimentary layers and defined key supplier relationships. Our analysis included systems for: mobility, energy & environment, health & social care, public services & safety, city operations & ICT.

This was informed by a comprehensive programme of interviews with stakeholders across the city and a series of workshops.


Delivering a Smart City

Our report provides a structured approach to shaping the design, delivery and decision-making for city services and infrastructure that affect people’s everyday lives.

It establishes a vision for a smart Newcastle and ten principles to guide the delivery of  a smart city programme.

Each of the existing and planned systems were profiled to prioritise future investments.

Further guidance was also offered in the form of five practical recommendations to help deliver a successful smart city programme. These insights are drawn from Urban Foresight’s experience of delivering smart city programmes and recognised international best practice.


An Outcome-Focused Approach

As a mission driven business, a key objective for our work was to provide Newcastle City Council with insights that would support the implementation of new systems and to scale-up existing investments.

Our analysis provided Newcastle City Council with a a comprehensive understanding of its existing smart city ecosystem and a clear roadmap to take forward future investments.

Read our report here.

What We Delivered

Practical insights and evidence to support decision-making, policy development and the case for investments

Professional engagement with relevant stakeholders and experts to uncover key insights and identify shared priorities

Tracking trends, spotting significant developments and understanding why they are important

We are expert at running workshops and focus groups, using a variety of tools and techniques to combine and share information from large and small groups

We have specialist toolkits to shape future outlooks, develop actionable strategies and open up new possibilities for innovation

Assessment of concepts, products and services according to defined social, economic and environmental criteria

Sector Expertise

We help our clients to navigate changes and undertake digital transformations that set them up for long-term success

Advising on ways to share, manage and exploit data assets

Advising on the commercial and disruptive potential of new technologies

We understand the connections between systems and how technology can facilitate more efficient and effective urban infrastructure and services

How new technologies and business models are transforming the way people and goods are transported to create better connected, healthier and more sustainable cities

Developing secure, clean and affordable energy systems that are optimised for renewables and integrate new products and services

Understanding and avoiding the negative impacts of businesses, cities and communities on the environment

Bottom-up understanding of the needs and motivations of citizens, as well as engaging with communities to inspire positive actions and behaviours

Advice on how new technology and services can create healthier and happier communities