Digital Cities Week 1: Digital Cities & Me

I work in communications for a brand design agency based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. I regularly engage with UK and European Digital and Smart City organisations on their marketing, advertising, and creative communication projects.

The embedded image is an example of one of the many such communication projects involving one of our regular clients, EIT Digital. The Pan-European organisation operate in affiliation with a range of education establishments and startups, scaleups, and industry partners, shaping Europe’s digital transformation.

Leading their digital transformation with five “Action Lines” (Digital Wellbeing, Infrastructure, Finance, Industry, and, of course, Cities), they are a multi-location organisation dedicated to digital transformation.

Naturally, an important aspect of my job is to research, and display an understanding of what they do in the communications I create for them (or the communications would, quite simply, not communicate!).

This research has provided me with an insight and significant intrigue into the transformation of cities into Digital Cities, influencing and encouraging technologically-linked-collaboration between governing bodies, public services, local industry and the general population.

Subsequently, Sustainability and Sensing Cities, during Week 10, is an enticing topic, not only to my development as an academic, but by career in communications. City Dashboards and Open Data also significantly interests me, especially as I am contemporaneously studying Big Data this semester, while 3D Printing will give me something to chat to my engineering-minded Dad over dinner. And finally, Digital Urban Gaming stimulates the gaming-nerd inside me, currently being suppressed by a relentless combination of work and study.

Through work I am also familiar with the UK Catapult organisation, including Future Cities Catapult (although I didn’t realise Brighton was home to one of the Catapult’s many locations!). Like EIT Digital, their work is about building Digital Cities as a culture, as opposed to more bureaucratic decision making without the collaborative influence of other actors, including citizens.

After watching several of the suggested videos linked to Week 1, I was interested, but not entirely shocked, to find there is a belief that the United States appears to be behind other countries in recognising the potential impact of Digital Cities, and I thoroughly enjoyed the IBM animation – it’s the exact sort of infographic animation we’d be proud of at work.

Finally, hi everyone, I’m looking forward to studying with you for the next few weeks.



One thought on “Digital Cities Week 1: Digital Cities & Me

  1. Hi Simon,

    I am working a bit backwards reading previous posts here as I kind of hit the ground running when I started this module but it’s great to read more about your work and what brought you to this course. It must be very relevant seeing as how you are already working in the field, and are familiar with Future Cities Catapult.

    I also had a moment when I realised in the first or second week reading/viewing that it seems very much to be the big American IT corporations who are driving this smart city technology and seeking partnerships with governments across the globe. I look forward to exploring further what this means in terms of local ownership, who owns the data, citizen participation and autonomy etc. I look forward to further discourses.

    Best regards,

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