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In praise of Bristol

Bristol – city of stars, no scrub that, city of connectivity

Bristol has overtaken London as the smart place to live
Bristol has overtaken London as the smart place to live

Tallest son is off to Bristol again for yet another weekend. To be fair a number of his chums are at the university, and the city is fast becoming a favourite downtime destination. In fact, when a friend from New York came to stay last year, where was the first place the aforementioned son took her to? Bristol – city of stars, no scrub that, city of connectivity.


My son et al are clearly picking up on the zeitgeist. Last week, Bristol was given the Judges’ Choice Smart City Award at the GSMA’s 2018 Global Mobile Awards (The GLOMOs) beating Barcelona, Dubai, New York, Singapore and Yinchuan.


The award highlighted the Bristol is Open venture (, as well as the city’s Operations Centre, opened last October and which combines the council’s emergency control centre, traffic control centre and community safety (CCTV) control rooms for the first time.


The GLOMO recognition follows on the heels of the Huawei/Navigant Research UK Smart Cities Index 2017 in the autumn of last year, where Bristol beat London to the top spot of the UK’s smartest city.


And if that wasn’t enough, a year ago Bristol was voted the best place to live in the UK by The Sunday Times, and according to an article in the Independent ( it has also been named as the best place to study, one of the top five most inspiring cities, and number 4 in the Rough Guide’s top ten best cities in the world.




This coming weekend Bristol will be flexing its connective muscle further with The Layered Realities Weekend 5G Showcase. Here you can explore next-generation wireless connectivity through a series of free, live events including talks and demonstrations, augmented reality theatre and virtual reality dance.


Back in 1777, Dr Samuel Johnson said if you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life. Two hundred or so years later, perhaps it’s time to update. Tired of London? Then get yourself to Bristol.


Melony Rocque

Launch editor

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