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Smart Cities Scotland sets five objectives

29/09/16

Blueprint document outlines pathfinder programmes for operational activity

Five delivery objectives have been outlined for Smart Cities Scotland programme, with the publication of a blueprint as an initial strategy for the Scottish Government backed initiative.

EdinburghThey are aimed at raising the capacity of Scottish cities to run and scale up projects using internet of things technology to improve the delivery of services and improving their residents’ quality of life.

Yesterday’s launch of the blueprint is the latest stage in a programme fuelled by a decision by the Scottish Government, made early last year, to provide €15 million from its share of the European Region Development Fund Programme 2014-20 to support the development of the technology.

Each objective is related to a pathfinder programme that will prioritise activities:

  • Improving lives – The Smart and Healthy Living project will involve creating a nationwide testbed for innovations in health and wellbeing, and produce data-led insights on the links between health, economic growth and productivity.
  • Collaboration and engagement – A Sharing and Learning Platform will be developed for cities and their partners to exchange information, combine resources and solve problems.
  • Open data and transparency – The Code for Scotland pathfinder will aim to bring the data community into developing smart city solutions.
  • Technology and innovation – A national mobility-as-a-service platform will be developed under the MaaS Scotland programme. It will combine transport options from different providers and handle functions from travel planning to payments.
  • Environmental sustainability – The Circular Economy pathfinder will aim at efficiently managing the flow of resources within and between cities.

The blueprint also includes a number of capacity building measures, covering governance, investment, procurement and promotion.

They include the appointment of a Smart Cities Scotland Board and a national champion, the definition of relevant roles across city and national governments, joint bids to attract funding, working with Scotland Excel – the country’s local government procurement centre – to create and share dedicated procurement resources, developing challenge-led competitions for new solutions, and piloting new business models.

Ideally placed

Dr David Beeton, managing director of the Urban Foresight think tank and compiler of the blueprint, said: “Having worked with cities around the world, it is clear that Scotland’s cities are ideally placed to drive forward their ambitions to become smarter and more sustainable.

“The blueprint builds on the frameworks for collaboration provided by the Scottish Cities Alliance and establishes a joined up approach to make Scotland an even better place to live and a more prosperous and successful country.” 

The blueprint was developed by all of the seven cities in the Scottish Cities Alliance (SCA) along with the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland and Scottish Enterprise.

Chair of the SCA, Councillor Andrew Burns, said it will now work on taking forward some of the recommendations, and highlighted a detail of the report that states digital technologies have added 2.3% in real terms to economic growth in Scotland.

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

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