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Manchester and Edinburgh step up smart city initiatives


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Manchester and Edinburgh have begun to take part in smart city pilot projects under the Europe-wide Synchronicity programme.

The initiatives have been highlighted in recent days as the next step in the roll out of the programme, along with a ‘bootcamp’ for the projects held at the Future Cities Catapult offices in London.

This marked the beginning of a six-month implementation phase involving 49 solutions deployed in 18 cities.

Manchester City Council is involved in three projects aimed at harnessing internet of things (IoT) technology. They include the Lighthouse Cities project in which Manchester is aiming to improve energy efficiency on its university and civic estates. This is part of a broader project focused on energy, mobility and ICT in which it is working with Eindhoven in the Netherlands and Stavanger in Norway.

It is also working with Eindhoven – and Porto in Portugal – on the SmartImpact project focused on governance, organisational and financing issues in the adoption of smart city solutions. Each city is developing an integrated action plan as guidance for future efforts.

These are underlined by the CityVerve project, under which Manchester has provided an IoT demonstrator area since 2016.

Noise reduction

City of Edinburgh Council is working on a project with Bilbao in Spain aimed at measuring and reducing noise pollution. It is using IoT technology and linking the outputs to data from other sources through the USMART data integration and insights platform.

The aim is to develop a predictive tool for noise planning, drawing on community input on the levels of acceptability.

Martin Brynskov, chair of the Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) network and coordinator of SynchroniCity, said: “All pilots are based on the Open and Agile Smart Cities minimal interoperability mechanisms, adopted last month by the OASC Council of Cities with more than 100 member cities globally. 

“The pilots are concretely adding to the converging global market by addressing current market failures and de-risking investments.”

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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