Croydon Council has awarded a 10-year concession contract to VALO Smart City, after a competitive tender process, to install, operate, and maintain connected bus shelters and digital advertising in at least 185 locations across the borough.
The partnership will provide next generation street furniture and will create a platform for VALO to partner with some of the UK’s leading Tech Hardware and Software firms, providing new amenities for the council and the public such as air quality and traffic sensors and new digital bus countdown and information screens in every shelter.
The deal represents a crucial new revenue stream for Croydon Council and supports the aspirations set out in its Digital Strategy (2019-2024) to use connected technology to improve infrastructure, quality of life and economic growth in the Borough. The design, manufacture and installation of the bus shelters by VALO will be at no cost to Croydon Council.
New free Public Wi-Fi will help join up in many areas across the Borough to create connected streets for all. Digital infrastructure will lead to a better understanding of air quality across Croydon with sensors in bus shelters, and the ability to display this information on digital displays in real time. All the shelters will include digital screens with bus arrival and local transport information.
The transformative project is spearheaded by VALO Smart City, an international “smart city integrator” and innovator which has delivered multiple energy saving projects, such as LED lighting, in partnership with cities around the world since their inception in 2017.
Isaac H. Sutton, CEO of VALO Smart City said: “Our Smart City Platform provides next generation innovative bus shelters and digital advertising displays which will create beautiful new street furniture and a brand-new level of digital connectivity for the Borough. Much like VALO Smart City, Croydon is committed to digital innovation and that is why they have selected VALO over the traditional multi-nationals who dominate the OOH market (Out of Home Advertising) in the UK.”
Councillor Muhammad Ali, cabinet member for sustainable Croydon, said: “I am very excited about the arrival of these smart bus shelters which will make residents’ travel experiences more enjoyable, informative and safer. The smart city sensors will also act as a great tool in our continued mission to become a greener, more sustainable Borough.
“Our partnership with innovators Valo is our latest step towards Croydon becoming not only a digital council but the first truly connected smart borough which uses technology to enhance and transform the lives of our residents for the better.”
The new street furniture is being designed by global architecture firm Grimshaw who have experience in bus shelter and infrastructure design in New York, Madrid and Sydney, as well as industrial design for London’s Elizabeth Line. The clean modern design will remove street clutter and use of extensive glazing will ensure all users feel safe.