Personal profile

I’m the Director of Smart Places for Jacobs, the global engineering company. Previously, I was the UK, Middle East and Africa leader of the Digital Cities and Property business for Arup, Director of Technology for Amey, one of the UK’s largest engineering and infrastructure services companies, and part of the Ferrovial Group, and IBM UK’s Executive Architect for Smarter Cities.

For the past four years, I’ve been developing a formal approach to “Digital Masterplanning“, an integration of digital services, infrastructure and enablement into the spatial, infrastructure, economic and commercial design process for major developments. Digital Masterplanning links private sector investment in innovation and technology to community and local authority outcomes such as economic growth, community vitality, social mobility, health and wellbeing and sustainability. It addresses the two-decade old market failure of Smart Cities to move beyond strategy and pilot projects to large-scale transformation of the built environment to create better communities for everyone.

I’m a member of the UK5G Steering Group and the Academy of Urbanism; a Fellow of the British Computer Society and the RSA; and in my home city of Birmingham, where I’ve lived for 30 years, I’m the founder and current co-Chair of the Steering Group for the Birmingham Smart City Alliance, and a member of the Industry Advisory Board for Innovation Birmingham.

You can connect with me on Twitter where I’m @dr_rick, or contact me through Linked-In where I’ll respond to connection requests from people I know, or that are accompanied by a message that starts a meaningful discussion.

The views published here are my own.

3 Responses to Personal profile

  1. george grace says:

    hi rick
    i work in urban centres, highstreets. i’m running one of the first Portas Pilots in Bristol.

    i’m increasingly frustrated by the complete lack of ambition or ideas by dclg. the best they are currently offering in of legislative support for Town Teams and High Streets is consultation on how to turn it into resi?! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry…

    i have an idea. tech based hence this email to you. i call it Town Team Technology.

    ie a bespoke web-based IT package that enables town centres and high streets to organise all of the data around the myriad of stakeholder groups and then create collaborative partnership platforms for and between the groups. In particular:
    Business occupiers – Business Improvement Districts
    Landlords – Landlord-led BIDs, Voluntary Developer Partnerships,
    Residents – Resident Consultation; Community Share Offers, etc
    Public and 3rd sectors

    I have a short doc summarising the idea. If any of this is of interest drop me your email address and i’ll pop across to you.

    I think it has financial and social legs.



  2. joyohana says:

    Great to see the progress. We are wanting to develop these skills here in Sydney. Area you coming this way ie Australia soon? Is there someone in IBM Australia that I could contact? Is there a discussion group I could join?
    Many tahsnk


  3. Rick Robinson says:

    Hi John,

    Please connect to me on Linked In and let’s talk – there’s a link in my brief bio at the top right of the blog page.




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