Leeds wants to understand more about its council properties to improve services for citizens and target resources in the right areas.
The City of Leeds is looking to equip more of its 56,000 council properties with data-collecting sensors to support predictive maintenance, improved health and better services for citizens.
“There’s a link between housing and health," Stephen Blackburn, Data and Innovation Manager, Leeds City Council, told SmartCitiesWorld. "We want to understand more about those properties so we can target our increasingly limited resources in the right areas."
He added: “If we can ensure that our tenants are living in the best quality property, then their health and wellbeing are likely to be improved.”
The sensors could monitor humidity, for example, to help avoid levels which could exacerbate underlying health conditions.
“In two years’ time, we want to have a dashboard so we can understand what’s going on in all of our properties."
“In two years’ time, we want to have a dashboard so we can understand what’s going on in all of our properties,” said Blackburn.
This could support maintenance staff attending properties when needed rather than on a scheduled basis, and it could also help the council develop more targeted services which are informed by data.
“Through visualisations and the use of a dashboard or control management system, we can improve the services that we offer our tenants,” Blackburn said.
Other initiatives include boosting connectivity for council properties and exploring options such as telehealthcare.
Earlier this week, Leeds announced a £20.3 million partnership with BT to speed up the roll-out of fibre, without increasing costs.
Leeds City Council said part of the partnership with BT will include working towards low-cost connectivity options for council housing. It claims the deal would “make Leeds the largest gigabit and ‘5G capable’ city outside of London.” A new fund to support community broadband initiatives will also be set up.
Through the deal, BT’s Openreach has committed to bringing fibre connectivity to four million homes and businesses by the end of March next year.
BT’s Openreach has committed to bringing fibre connectivity to four million homes and businesses by the end of March next year.
From 2023, the multi-network 5G infrastructure that BT plans to deliver will support the roll-out of 5G mobile coverage to 70 per cent of Leeds and approximately 81 per cent of the city’s council houses.
“This will help to combat the digital divide experienced in some of the city’s most disadvantaged communities,” a statement from the city said.
The council and BT will also explore 5G products and services which can be rolled out across the city to take advantage of the improved connectivity, including public safety initiatives.
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