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News releases 2017

A team of designers and tech experts from Atkins, one of the world’s leading design, engineering and project management consultancies, and Schréder have won the first design competition in The City Centre’s 2017 campaign, A Smarter City: Ideas for the City of London.

The competition looks to highlight the potential of smart technologies in London’s Square Mile and calls for cutting-edge designs in response to the theme of Smart Green Spaces.

Atkins and Schréder formed a partnership to create the winning entry, ‘Key to the City’, using an augmented reality smartphone app and smart-enabled street furniture to celebrate the City of London’s network of over 150 green spaces, providing information on screen to help Londoners engage with their surroundings.

Neil Manthorpe, Atkins’ principal landscape architect said: “The City of London has a rich history, culture and varied plethora of open spaces. ‘Key to the City’ will unlock these hidden layers through the use of smart innovations and encourage more to explore the diversity offered by the City. I hope this pushes forward the smarter cities agenda and encourages the realisation of healthier, more active streets and spaces across the City of London.”

Benjamin O’Connor, director of The City Centre, said: “Many people think of smart as purely technological and whilst technology plays a big part the key to a truly ‘smarter’ City is innovation. Changing the way people see and think about the City is critical. Atkins’ and Schréder’s ‘Key to the City’ celebrates the unique nature of the City’s green spaces whilst keeping innovation at its heart.”

Peter Murray, chairman of The City Centre and New London Architecture, said: “We chose ‘Key to the City’ because of the way that it integrated new technologies, use of data and augmented reality with public space improvements, green strategies and the necessary infrastructure to deliver high speed wifi, bluetooth as well as the more conventional benefits of good street lighting.”

The award for the Smart Green Spaces competition was presented to the ‘Key to the City’ team at an event held at The City Centre and attended by over 400 people on Thursday 27 April.

The City Centre’s ‘A Smarter City’ exhibition will run until December 2017. Shortlisted entries from each competition will be displayed.


For more information and full images:

Jen Archer
Communications and marketing officer, Infrastructure
+44 1372 756 553

Notes to editors:

Atkins ( is one of the world's most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing some 18,300 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. We build long term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas. You can view Atkins’ recent projects on our website               

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