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5 Ways SMART Towns Technology Will Transform Highstreets Across Wales

In recent years, technology has transformed day-to-day life for many of us, but how can it be harnessed to solve key issues in our communities and to breathe new life into our highstreets?
Highstreets across Wales have faced many economic challenges over the last few years, from lockdowns to rising fuel costs. However, as with many aspects of our lives, technology currently being rolled out across Wales could provide many advantages and solutions, to not only help our high streets survive, but thrive! Smart towns technology brings a host of opportunities like enhancing connectivity, building community, greater sustainability and improved services.
In this blog post, we will explore 5 reasons why smart towns technology is a key tool for, not just big, but also rural towns in Wales and how it can pave the way for more thriving high streets.

  1. Improved Connectivity: Many rural communities face the challenge of limited or no connectivity. Smart towns technology can bridge this gap through enhanced connectivity allowing businesses to access online markets, establish their digital presence, and reach a broader customer base. Moreover, they can offer high-speed Wi-Fi or even free Wi-Fi to shoppers improving the overall shopping experience and allowing for things like QR codes which can generate more sales. It also makes digital marketing for businesses more feasible, enabling businesses to effectively promote their offerings and engage with customers. This, in turn, increases sales, improves the shopper experience and lessens the digital divide.  
  2. Enhanced Infrastructure: Smart towns technology brings a whole host of applications that can enhance the infrastructure of a high street, benefiting both businesses and the local community. These innovations focus on areas such as traffic management and building maintenance, resulting in improved resource efficiency, reduced energy consumption, and minimized environmental impact. For example, the installation of parking sensors in designated bays can help in ensuring a smooth flow of traffic and encourage shoppers. These sensors can accurately report vacant electric vehicle (EV) charging and parking bays, effectively preventing congestion and creating a more convenient experience for visitors.
  3. More efficient use of resources and improved facilities: Rural towns often face challenges in delivering public services due to limited resources and dispersed population. Smart towns technology can offer solutions to improve the efficiency of these services through waste monitoring, flood prevention, parking, anti-social behaviour monitoring and more. For instance, IoT level sensors on bins can prevent them from overflowing, which is unsightly and may attract vermin. Level sensors send out alerts when bins are getting full to allow better waste management and optimisation of collection routes resulting in improved efficiency and cleaner streets.
  4. Community Engagement: Smart towns technology can be used to encourage greater unity and communication in towns and communities. Towns can utilise smart technology to develop platforms and applications, which encourage greater communication between residents, business owners and local authorities. A great example of this is the establishment of mailing lists, enabling local authorities to share valuable data trends derived from smart technology. This data can inform business decisions, including marketing strategies and optimal opening times. In this way, smart towns technology gives business owners the tools they need to make more well-informed business decisions according to the needs of their specific town or community. Additionally, smart town apps can greatly improve communication between residents, businesses, and tourists alike. These applications act as digital hubs, offering real-time updates on local events, sales, and the opening times of nearby businesses.
  5. Sustainable Development: Smart towns technology plays a crucial role in nurturing sustainable development. By integrating renewable energy sources and monitoring energy consumption, rural towns can become more self-sufficient and reduce fuel consumption. An example being homes or retail spaces fit with smart energy meters which reduce fuel consumption and save costs. Additionally, by implementing smart transportation solutions, such as electric vehicles and shared mobility services, towns can decrease carbon emissions.

As Welsh towns overcome economic challenges, smart towns technology will provide a wealth of opportunities to build more thriving, resilient and future ready high streets. If you're interested in exploring the opportunities for your town, business or community please get in touch to start your Smart Towns journey.