Data science may be helping cities get ‘smarter’, but questions remain over how long urban populations will tolerate an increasingly invasive level of data collection.

A number of councils have already installed a number of sensors around London with the aim of creating a smarter city. This is done through collecting large amounts of data – from information about available parking spaces, electricity usage and even refuse levels – before then analysing it and understanding problems they may not know existed.

Most containers in Barcelona have sensors that say how full they are,” Elfrink said. “Instead of picking up waste on Tuesday and Thursday, you have dynamic route management, thinking about the most efficient route, saving 20-30% energy.