Manchester has over 20 years of experience in delivering digital innovation – showcasing a journey from the knowledge economy to the smart city. With the biggest digital sector outside of London, and a growing population, Manchester continues to invest in smart city solutions to address a range of urban challenges, from climate change, to traffic congestion, to an ageing population. The city was chosen in 2016 at the UK’s Internet of Things demonstrator ( The city has involved citizens in the development of its “Our Manchester” strategy which sets out its objectives up until 2025. We are currently completing an integrated action plan to guide and direct our smart city and digital ambitions.


Manchester has seen impressive growth over the last 20 years as it transforms into a post-industrial economy. This success has seen a large growth in the number of residents in the city centre, and the number of jobs and businesses. This growth brings with it challenges as we deal with air quality, congestion, affordable housing, an ageing population and lack of job opportunities for substantial sections of our existing communities – leading to a rising inequality. Bringing back powers from central government through devolution will enable us to make better decisions and respond to the specific needs of our residents, businesses and communities.  


The challenges that we face in Manchester require us to find new ways of working. The Internet of Things enables us to think about developing services in a different way – working in collaboration with other public bodies and with the private sector to deliver on innovative solutions. Part of the driver for implementing IoT is to provide more efficiency, through better monitoring of energy usage, and improving the transportation experience in the city; but in addition to these citizens expect to have the information they need at the time they need it in order to better manage their own lives – IoT and the improved use of data will give us a much better picture of how our city is working and what we need to do to improve it.


Citizens are at the centre of all our activities – and the “Our Manchester” strategy was developed through a wide-ranging consultation with our citizens to identify what their priorities were.

We continue to use human-centred design, Living Labs and co-creation to work with different citizen groups to make sure that our solutions address real problems and provide actual solutions that can improve people’s everyday lives.


  • CITYVERVE: CityVerve is the UK’s Internet of Things Demonstrator. Receiving £10 million of  founding from Innovate UK, across 20 partners, we are delivering a unique platform for new services across the themes of transport, energy and environment, health and social care, and culture and public realm. Working with Cisco, BT, and a wide range of SMEs, alongside our transport executive, hospitals, science park and universities, we are developing a “smart city district” on the Oxford Road corridor. CityVerve will show the potential for sharing data through combining a range of platforms into a single API.
  • TRIANGULUM: is an EU funded Horizon 2020 “Lighthouse” project with Manchester, Eindhoven and Stavanger as the three lead cities, focussing on energy, mobility and ICT. In the Manchester demonstrator we are working across university and civic estates to improve energy efficiency through an emerging energy district.
  • SMARTIMPACT: is a two year project looking to deliver local impacts from smart city planning across 10 European cities, including Synchronicity partner cities, Manchester, Eindhoven and Porto. Focussing on the governance, organisational and financing issues central to improving adoption of smart city solutions each city is developing an integrated action plan to guide and direct future plans.


Adrian Slatcher
City Representative: Manchester