The role of industry in supporting ‘smart’ growth and sustainable, resilient cities will be explored in a round-table discussion at the Croydon Economic Summit.

Rapid urbanisation, which is expected to see five billion people living in cities by 2030, has triggered major challenges for governments, city-leaders and decision makers around infrastructure, water and power as well as carbon emissions.

The panel – which will include PCSG’s Jennifer MacDonald as well as the Head of Sustainability at Gatwick Airport, Rachel Thompson and Shifa Mustafa, Chief Executive, Place, at the London Borough of Croydon – will explore how industry can work with city leaders to meet these challenges.

They will discuss how objectives around economic growth and social mobility can be aligned with the development of appealing environments which are fully attuned to the needs of their users.

Jennifer’s focus will be on how a digital, data-driven approach to the design, operation and maintenance of the built environment is a fundamental component of the sustainability agenda.

She will explain how the rapidly-accelerating application of digital techniques and capabilities to the life-cycle of the built environment is enabling the more efficient development of assets, significantly reducing waste within the design and construction process and ensuring that assets are more effectively maintained and better functioning.

Croydon is undergoing a £5.25 billion regeneration programme. A key focus of that work is the promotion of Croydon as a digital hub – the Silicon Valley of South London.

Digital delivery has been identified by the council itself as a key enabler to improving its service provision and to meeting the challenges of tightened budgets.

Last year Croydon – London’s largest borough by population with more than 340,000 residents – appointed Neil Williams as its Chief Digital Officer to lead on the design and delivery of the council’s digital services.

Neil, a highly respected digital leader and a passionate advocate for user-centred public services, previously led the GOV.UK government digital service, with responsibility for all aspects of the UK government website and its strategic use by 350+ central government organisations.

He is leading on digital transformation, ICT and smart cities innovation for Croydon Council.

Neil has pledged to ‘build on the great foundations’ that saw Croydon named 2017’s Digital Council of the Year.

About PCSG

PCSG is a Croydon based consulting business focused on delivering sustainable outcomes through digitisation and the effective use of resources. The business focuses on delivering solutions to clients throughout the asset lifecycle to ensure high performing assets which demonstrably deliver the service outcomes expected.

PCSG is chaired by Dr Mark Bew, MBE, who has led the uptake of digitalised processes in UK construction through his leadership of the UK Government Building Information Modelling (BIM) strategy and the UK BIM Task Group.

He was awarded the MBE in 2011 for services to construction and has a PhD in the digital prediction of social outcomes through the built environment.