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Hull to deploy purpose-built operating system to become a ‘programmable' city

The initiative is hailed as the first of its type in the UK. Hull’s Council sees potential benefits in traffic management, healthcare and more.

The Deep, Hull
The Deep, Hull

The City of Hull is to deploy a purpose-built smart city operating system (OS) in what is claimed to be the first initiative of its type in the UK.


Hull City Council will use Connexin’s CityOS platform to integrate, view, manage and respond to information from a range of council services, sensors and systems, using a single dashboard.


Information from current and future data-producing deployments, such as smart lighting, parking, traffic, waste management and Wi-Fi, will be integrated into the platform.


Our platform will enable Hull to become a ‘programmable city’.


Furqan Alamgir, Founder and CEO of Connexin, said: “Our platform will enable Hull to become a ‘programmable city’ and move from outdated, siloed, service-driven technologies to a central platform to improve service delivery, reduce costs and to make the most of new technologies such as IoT, AI and machine learning algorithms.”


What’s new?


Connexin claims this is the UK’s first purpose-built smart city operating system. Alamgir told SmartCitiesWorld: “This isn’t the first platform focused on improving city management deployed in the UK but it is the first one to be embraced within a city’s strategic plans to support future growth and [to be] deployed ’at-scale’ across an entire city in the UK.”



Connexin says this is the UK’s first purpose-built smart city operating system.


Councillor Daren Hale, Deputy Leader of Hull City Council, said enhanced data-sharing and decision-making, enabled by the platform, will help the Council deliver more effective services in areas such as traffic management and health and social care.


“The system pulls together information that currently sits within separate council computer systems to enable city-wide management of the city’s public assets in real-time using state-of-the-art technology. Residents will receive better information to make choices about transport, traffic and parking. But this will be just the beginning of what is possible,” he commented.



Opening innovation


Connexin’s CityOS is built around the Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform which ‘normalises’ and aggregates data from a range of IoT sensor types into a certified set of urban service domains such as waste, lighting and parking.


Scot Gardner, Chief Executive, Cisco UK & Ireland, commented: “When you start to think of a city as programmable, there is opportunity to not only improve individual services with technology, but use combined data insight from those services to create a holistic, actionable view for local authorities.”


"It requires leadership from the city and the service leaders."


Much of the information brought together through the platform will be made available, via an open platform, for the public to use to develop new ideas and solutions. Additionally, with open APIs, local and global independent software vendors and city application developers can plug into the management infrastructure and provide public service capabilities.


Councillor Hale said: “As the project develops, it will create a demand for a new digitally skilled workforce in the city, so we will need to invest in skills and training for younger generations so they are prepared for the new types of jobs that will be created in the digital sector.”




Alamgir, told SmartCitiesWorld that any city could adopt a similar approach. But, he said: “It requires leadership from the city and the service leaders who need to think about policy, budgets, governance, security and data-sharing to better position themselves to gain maximum value."


"Work needs to be done to align teams within the city to move from a vertical siloed way of working to a more collaborative horizontal approach," he said.


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