Smart City Ever wondered what a smart city is? The word smart seems to appear a lot at the moment and it all seems like it might be a bit technical and niche. This may have been the case a few years ago, but now Government is giving plenty of money to develop the idea of the Smart City and see how better use of data can improve how people live in cities. 

CFOA is putting on a one day briefing event on 11 May in Manchester to take a look at what the Smart City is all about and why the fire and rescue service should be interested and informed. The briefing is aimed at brigade managers at Group Manager and above, those involved in data and information management services; and policy makers looking at future strategy development. 

This is one in a series of topical briefings, CFOA is now focusing on getting managers within fire and rescue services to consider current issues to encourage debate and inform future policy direction. 

DCFO Neil Odin from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Chair of CFOA’s Integrated Data and Research Programme will chair the event. This briefing is the start of a conversation. It is intended to be thought provoking and stimulate debate locally and nationally about the role of the fire and rescue service in the Smart City. 

Speakers come from a wide field of interest. Paul Egan comes from a long career in IT. He will break down the concept of the Smart City to its simplest ideas: these are people and data. He provide a guide through the radical world of the Internet of Things, making reference to those ideas that could transform the way the fire and rescue service operates and works with local communities. 

Stephen Hilton from Bristol City Council and Ben Ward from the Oxford Flood Network will provide case studies in how their respective work has used the idea of smart to make real difference to cities but in very different ways. 

Eddie Copeland from Nesta will talk about the New York Fire Department (FDNY) and with its Risk Based Inspection System, helped hone the predictive and proactive inspection work by looking at it in the context of other city data. 

Amanda Smith from the Open Data Institute will share her experience working in the Home Office on and see what the fire and rescue service might learn from this. 

One of the reasons this briefing is being held in Manchester is because of a new Smart City project called Cityverve. Adrian Slatcher from Manchester City Council will share with us some of his vision for the future of the Smart City and help provoke some thoughts about where the fire and rescue service might fit in. 

There will be plenty of time for attendees to discuss the issues that emerge during the briefing. This is intended to be participative and offer attendees the chance to talk to the experts and take the findings back to their own organisations to start the conversation about their own contribution to the Smart City.

Places are limited and this will be a popular event, so register soon. 

Information on how to register can be found at: