Smart City

Newcastle as a Future ‘Smart City’

The North East is setting a new standard for digitally enabled urban sustainability. These scenarios present a vision of what Newcastle could be like as a ‘smart city’. Find out where we are going, how we will get there and ways to be involved.

The North East is a national leader in sustainability in the UK in areas such as:

  • water
  • energy
  • transport
  • computing and digital technology

Vision to reality

In our vision for Newcastle as a smart city we want to show how this is transitioning from a dream into physical reality. The programmes of research and technological development that underpin Newcastle Helix are taking place now.

By ‘smart’ we mean ways digital technology can enable people to make sound decisions about the present and future. Smart also means integrating energy, transport, water and other aspects of the city that underpin everyday urban life.

We've created scenarios to show what Newcastle could be like as a 'smart city' in an exciting and accessible way to encourage collaboration. They are told from the perspective of the future looking back on the past, which includes our present.

Newcastle Helix is a massive opportunity, not only for Newcastle, but the North East and UK as a whole. Many of the things described in these stories are either already taking place in Newcastle, or could be implemented in the near future.

At the end of each scenario are examples of how different stakeholders can get involved from innovative companies to local community groups and policy makers.

The story so far…


How we generate and distribute energy in the future has the potential to become more local and resilient to faults in the energy network and physical damage. Smart energy network describes what this could look like by including the benefits and challenges involved in having a smart grid.

Local energy supply and storage introduces how Newcastle City Council could become its own energy supplier. This would making Newcastle more attractive to business and effective in finding ways to reduce fuel poverty for residents.

Reducing floods

Flooding may become more of a problem for Newcastle due to increased heavy rainfall caused by climate change. 

We explore how expanding sustainable urban drainage infrastructure, such as trees and green space in the city, helps ease flooding. This is through a community initiative working with local businesses in our green flood management scenario

Integrated transport

Transport is the backbone of cities, providing access to resources, jobs and education.

Integrated transport introduces how Newcastle could benefit from a transport system that integrates multiple transport options. It also explains how smart traffic control and digital sensing networks help to improve the city’s environment and health quality.