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Smart Places

Our society is facing multiple and complex challenges such as Climate emergency, Ageing population, Mass urbanisation, Health, Demographic change and Wellbeing, both in urban and rural areas, in the UK and internationally.

At the same time, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, triggered by disruptive technologies, is transforming the whole place-making process, as well as the way we move around places, work and interact with each other. This disruption is creating new challenges and vulnerabilities (e.g. privacy, cyber, etc) but also new tools and approaches that can help creating more habitable places and deliver socio-economic and environmental benefits. This, we call ‘Smart Places’.


What is a Smart Place?

A Smart Place is an ecosystem where physical, digital and biological (people and environment) meet and interact. Data is the vital fluid of Smart Places.

The interaction between these four distinct entities isn’t the point of arrival though, but the starting point.


Smart Place ecosystem

Smart Places use the interactions between people, the built infrastructure and the environment, also enabled by the digital layer, to develop more informed sustainable solutions and create better services and outcomes for people and communities.

Smart Places consists of four core parts: People Physical – Digital – Environment.


People – people are the final users of a place, whether a passenger at a train station or airport, a commuter traveling to work or in their office. We must always consider their needs, wellbeing, inclusion and accessibility at all times. This is also why a human-centred approach is key to design and deliver the places of the future.

Physical infrastructure – the built environment across all sectors - with all the settings and facilities needed to provide key services such as transportation, energy and other utilities – is the skeleton of places.

Digital infrastructure – we use digital to monitor and operate the physical infrastructure in a more efficient and sustainable way, to predict unforeseen events that can affect people, the environment or physical assets, to deliver high quality services.

Environment – this is the natural environment and our focus is always on how we can protect it and safeguard it. The wellness of the environment is crucial to enable people and communities’ wellbeing. This is also why an environment-centred approach is key to protect natural resources and to guarantee health, safety and wellbeing of people.


We combine our multi-sector expertise and track record, to work with our partners and clients now, to deliver the ideal places of the future.

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