Mark SayManaging EditorThursday 15 December 2016

Scotland plans four projects for smart cities

Initiatives in street lighting, waste management, innovation and open data feature in Smart Cities Scotland programme

The Scottish Cities Alliance has announced details of four projects to run across seven cities to promote the smart places agenda in the country.

View of EdinburghUnder the Smart Cities Scotland programme, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth and Stirling are collaborating on a handful of initiatives aimed at making them more efficient, greener and attractive to investors.

This is backed by £10 million in European Regional Development Funding matched by £14 million from the cities themselves.

The four projects given the green light are:

  • Intelligent street lighting – Aberdeen, Perth, Stirling and Glasgow are piloting the smart infrastructure of LED bulbs and sensors with the aim of energy savings and better public and road safety.
  • Smart services in waste – Perth, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling are aiming to deploy smart bin technology in monitoring to improve waste and recycling collections. Sensors in the bins will alert waste management services to empty them only when they are full.
  • Innovation labs – A hub in Perth will develop new businesses in the digital and creative sectors linking to research and education. This will include the development of new smart city technologies.
  • Open data operations – The cities will create data publication platforms and promote data analytics for evidence based decisions on public services.

In addition, Glasgow, which leads the Smart Cities programme, is aiming to build on its Future City Glasgow initiative which has created an operations centre for smart places technology in the city.

Economies of scale

Chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance, Councillor Andrew Burns, said: “By working together Scotland’s cities are utilising economies of scale to learn individually and share that knowledge collectively, to be at the cutting edge of Smart City technology and the benefits that brings.

“Our inter-city approach to developing Smart City solutions has been praised publicly by the European Commission and we have attracted the attention of other nations who are looking to emulate our collaborative model.”

In September, the alliance published a blueprint for the programme that emphasised the aim of raising the capacity of Scottish cities to run and scale up projects using internet of things technology to improve the delivery of services.

It set five objectives - improving lives, collaboration and engagement, open data and transparency, technology and innovation, and environmental sustainability – along with outlining a number of capacity building measures in investment, procurement and promotion.

Image: Princes Street from Calton Hill, Edinburgh by Kevin Rae/Geograph.org.uk, CC BY-SA 2.0