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Centre for Digital Built Britain completed its five-year mission and closed its doors at the end of September 2022

This website remains as a legacy of the achievements of our five-year foundational journey towards a digital built Britain

Building on four years of material generated by the Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and Environment, this report examines the future use of big data in the built environment. Experts from academia, government and private companies were invited to join monthly discussions in the Forum over four years of meetings. Big data within cities was a recurring theme and core challenges and opportunities for the advancement of the use of big data were examined.


The report considers how barriers vary for different sectors when it comes to the utilisation of big data within the built environment. These include: budgetary pressure, resource allocation, technical challenges resulting from legacy systems, crossing organisational boundaries (even within connected public sector entities), data access and privacy concerns at an individual level. The need for regulation, either formally through legal structures or by the evolution of social norms, is explored, while considering the challenge of regulating a rapidly developing area of technology. Related to all these points is the key challenge of engaging people who live and work in cities.


Expert workshops


Next Steps

This feeds into the Gemini Principles and suggests a broad research agenda around integrating digital technology with services and ways of life in the built environment. 

Project Status

This project was completed in 2018