Barton House evacuation: information for residents.

What Bristol is Open is about: its origins, projects and future.


Between 2013 and 2014, we had received funding from Building Digital UK’s Go to (opens new window), Super-Connected Cities programme Go to (opens new window). We used it to establish multiple communications technologies and enable smart city research, development and innovation.

Bristol is Open (BiO), was set up as a joint venture between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol, to develop a ‘test-bed’ programmable, digital infrastructure, that launched in April 2015.

What has happened under Bristol is Open

We used our city-wide infrastructure to evaluate new digital technologies, smart city research, development and innovation.

We researched:

  • Software Defined Networking (SDN)
  • Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data Analytics
  • 5G
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
  • CCTV analytics
  • High Performance Computing (HPC)

Our smart city projects:

  • The Big Clout project evaluated Internet of Things, cloud computing and Big Data applications.
  • The Replicate project, in which Bristol was a lead city, deployed energy efficiency, mobility and Information and Communications Technology solutions in city districts.
  • The 5G Smart Tourism project deployed 5G, to provide CCTV feeds, trial crowd analytics and apply millimeter wave technologies for pop-up event control. The project also trialled the use of a low power wide area network (LoRaWan) and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors for a marshall tracking system.

The future of Bristol is Open

After three years of operation, Bristol is Open has moved out of its research and development phase.

Bristol is Open services are now solely operated by us and the platform has evolved to help address the challenges of the city moving forwards.

Benefits of us taking direct control of BiO services are:

  • enhanced collaboration between different service areas
  • closer alignment between the strategic management and development of the BiO network and our emerging smart and digital agendas

Contact us

Visit Connecting Bristol to find out more about our smart city ambitions.