Introducing the Smarter London Together Report Card — charting smart city steps openly
Chief Digital Officer for London Theo Blackwell sets out the Smarter London Together Report Card, launched 18 September, as part of City Hall’s Local Digital Declaration commitment to work in the open.
Smarter London Together is the Mayor’s new Roadmap to transform London into the smartest city in the world. Launched in June 2018, it addresses the Mayor’s commitment to better digital services, open data, connectivity, digital inclusion, cyber-security, innovation, and City Hall’s plan for the growth of our city to more than 11 million residents by 2040.
To help track the many actions we have pledged to make London a smarter city, the Smart London team at the GLA is now publishing a publicly-available Report Card to measure progress and notify stakeholders and citizens of any changes, and why. It follows similar approaches to mark smart progress in the first New York Digital Roadmap, and earlier work with Oxford City Council’s Digital Action Plan.
Evolution of the Report Card
The Roadmap is based on ideas from citizens, civil society, the tech community and people who work in public services. Between January and April, the Smart London team toured the city to listen to stakeholders and Londoners. They attended over 80 events, received around 300 ideas, surveyed nearly 2,000 Londoners and through the Your Commute Tool reached almost 90,000 people.
This engagement helped to shape a flexible, agile Roadmap, which is designed to keep pace with the rapid changes our city is seeing.
Because the digital transformation of a city the size and complexity of London is such a dynamic process — it’s important that City Hall set out clearly what actions we aim to undertake (and why) in the Roadmap.
It expresses our strong commitment to the government’s new Local Digital Declaration, in particular for local authorities to:
Publish our plans and lessons learnt (for example on blogs, Localgov Digital slack; at sector meetups), and talk publicly about things that have could have gone better…
Try new things, from new digital tools to experiments in collaboration with other organisations.
This is also an important part of City Hall’s commitment to open government in the digital age because some of the topics we as a city need to discuss — for example, around the use of sensors and automation, use of citizen data for civic benefit, and lags in diversity and inclusion — are not fully resolved, and won’t be without further discussion.
What is the Report Card?
The Report Card approach uses an online collaboration tool called Trello — a Trello board is effectively a list of lists, filled with cards, used by teams to organise projects of any size.
It tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process.
It is primarily aimed at practitioners, as one of our big tasks is to promote collaboration across London’s public services, with universities and the tech sector. However, we decided to make it open to all as a matter of course.
What do all the columns mean?
In the Roadmap, we set out a series of actions to achieve the Mayor’s vision over five ‘missions’:
- Mission 1: More user-designed services
- Mission 2: Strike a new deal for city data
- Mission 3: World-class connectivity and smarter streets
- Mission 4: Enhance digital leadership and skills
- Mission 5: Improve city-wide collaboration
What information is shown on each action and when I click on one, what more do I see?
Each of the actions explain what we’re doing, who is responsible for it, what our outputs will be, when they’ll happen and live updates on progress:
Action title: The title of the action is what we are doing to meet one of our five missions
Description: The description field of the action contains all the partners we want to work with to meet our commitments
Checklists: The list of outputs we’ll write, do, research, or support, and the City Hall team responsible for them
Due date: When we’ll be finishing all of the outputs in this action
Activity: An update on our progress on finishing the action
I’m a member of the public. How do I get involved?
The report card will allow you to see progress but to comment please follow the discussions which will start on Talk London, City Hall’s online citizen community.
If you think it can be improved, please tell us.
Your feedback will be used to help improve or change work towards a Smarter London.
I just want to be notified when there is something new. How do you stay up to date?
We hope the report card is seen as a positive and transparent step.
To subscribe to a report card’s updates, sign up to Trello.
Come back to this board, go to the menu, click ‘More’ and then ‘Watch’.
You will then get email notifications of anything new!
Go to the report card here.