"Smart cities" describes places that incorporate a range of technologies (especially those that collect and use data) to address economic, social, and environmental challenges. Projects usually take place in urban areas, but are also deployed in rural settings. This POSTnote looks at smart city innovation in the UK and the technologies involved. It considers the factors driving the adoption of smart city technologies, and the potential benefits, barriers and risks associated with their implementation.
New additions to the work programme
The POST Board convened on 16 September 2020 and approved three new POSTnotes. We aim to start work on these topics in the coming months.
To produce POSTnotes, advisers and fellows talk to a variety of stakeholders from industry, government, academia, and the third sector. These experts help us identify important themes and point us in the direction of critical literature. They even help us peer-review the final reports.
Could you contribute with literature, expertise or as a peer-reviewer? Click on the scope of the topic you are interested in below to find out.
This POSTnote will summarise the latest trends in children’s diet, obesity and related health conditions. It will review the impacts of previous policy changes such as the tax on sugar sweetened drinks. It will also examine the growing gap in outcomes for children from the most and least deprived backgrounds. Provisional start date: January 2021. Read more on childhood obesity.
Preventing zoonotic diseases
This POSTnote will review the evidence on a One Health approach to zoonoses prevention. It will focus on the animal-environment-human interface in both wild and domestic animals. This includes reviewing national and international policy approaches, and lessons learnt from previous epidemics. It will also summarise opportunities and challenges for the UK’s role in global health and biosecurity policy arenas after COVID-19. Provisional start date: January 2021. Read more on preventing zoonotic diseases.
Digital skills for life
This POSTnote will discuss the digital skills required for everyday life and employment. It will look at why parts of the population may lack these skills and which groups are most affected. It will also review the impact of the skills shortage on people and the economy, as well as ways to improve the population’s digital skills. Provisional start date: January 2021. Read more on digital skills for life.
Other work in production
- AI and healthcare
- Algorithms and accountability
- Development of vaccine technologies
- Distance learning
- Effective biodiversity indicators
- Food waste
- Heat networks
- Industry influence on public health policy
- Living organ donations
- Mental health impacts of COVID-19
- Mental health impacts of COVID-19 on healthcare workers and carers
- Regulating product sustainability
- Researching gambling
- Screen time and health in young people
- Smart cities
- Sustainable cooling
- Testosterone and sports performance
The incorporation of digital technologies in the energy sector can support progress towards key UK objectives such as achieving Net Zero emissions targets. It can also transform current methods of energy generation, transmission, regulation, and trading. This POSTnote presents an overview of key digital technologies and their main applications in the energy sector. It provides an overview of the potential benefits to using these technologies, and recent developments in this area. It describes the role of data in underpinning digital technologies in the sector, and some of the issues raised by its use. It also discusses broader challenges associated with energy sector digitalisation and measures that could help address them, including issues related to technology, regulation, and impact on consumers.
Space-based assets (satellites and the terrestrial ground stations that communicate with them) provide critical support to military and civilian operations. They are vulnerable to unintentional damage and disruption, and to deliberate attack. This POSTnote outlines how the UK uses and accesses satellites, potential risks to satellites, and approaches to mitigation.