The smart city model provides many opportunities to create added economic, social and environmental value from the integration of big data, covering many areas of the built environment. This includes the use of data sets relating to buildings, land use, planning, environmental data, health, economy, and energy.

This project is funded by the RICS Research Trust. Focusing on built environment ‘big data’ (including data relating to both construction and property) this research examines the drivers and barriers for the use of big data platforms at the city level in the UK and internationally. The research also examines key trends in the development and opening up of big data and open data in cities, and how this relates to opportunities for client advice, and the potential for property professionals to use big data creatively and innovatively to add value to their professional work.

The aim of this study is to examine the scope for the development of big data platforms at a city level in the UK and internationally, and how the RICS and its members can benefit from them. The literature review examines current definitions and models for smart cities and big data. The research uses a combination of a survey of leading UK smart cities. It will also use interviews and workshops with key stakeholders in two leading UK case studies, as well as two international cities with a strong ‘smart city’ commitment. A key output will be a generic but configurable framework for a ‘big data’ directory for the built environment in cities.