UK tech start-ups have travelled to Australia to see how Australian ‘smart’ cities are tackling the problem of air pollution, which is killing 50,000 in the UK and nine million people globally a year.
According to a recent report, the problem is responsible for more deaths in Britain than almost all of its Western European neighbours.
In a bid to combat this, the Government’s innovation body, ‘Innovate UK’ and the Department for International Trade (DIT) coordinated a ‘Future Cities Mission’. This involved sending 15 start-ups and entrepreneurs to Sydney and Melbourne to see how their Government makes cities more efficient.
At the summit co-organised by Innovate UK, the DIT and the Australia Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), the start-ups debated potential transport solutions for congested cities at both sides of the globe.
Currently 50 per cent of transport in big cities across both Australia and the UK is built on the ground, but the countries have agreed that if new transport solutions were built into the sky, this could ease congestion and pollution, which are two growing issues metropolitan areas face.
One concept which could help with transport solutions is called MonoMetro. This is essentially an upside-down tram that would lift public transport from the ground into the air, but for half the price of a traditional railway or tram.
Another topic discussed was waste processing in cities and what could be done to improve it, making systems safer, healthier and more efficient.