Glasgow City Gets £24M Smart City Investment

  • Posted on: 26 January 2013
  • By: Patrick Oliphant

Like other countries around the world, the UK wants its cities to be smart, connected, energy efficient and maximise its resources. Recently 30 of the UK’s cities were nominated to be the test bed for the latest smart cities initiatives. Of the 30 possible UK cities, the department of innovation selected the city of Glasgow to be the recipient of a £24 million investment to demonstrate how Britain’s cities will use technology in the future.

Some countries have opted to create new smart cities (Portugal’s Living planIT and South Korea’s Songdo City) as a test bed for the new technologies that will help to better manage the resources available to us.  Not everyone wants to develop a smart city from scratch; they want to make what they already have better, by changing the technologies.

Therefore, countries like the UK have decided to use its existing cities as a prototype for others. Glasgow, according to the Department of Innovation fits the criteria of that would benefit more from innovative solutions that integrate services across all main public services  - transport, health, energy and public safety.

As the Future Cities Demonstrator, as the grant is known, its intended  that Glasgow will act as a prototype for other UK cities. Others cities including Birmingham, Sunderland and London are beginning to roll out smarter city solutions.

“With more people than ever before living in our cities, they need to be able to provide people with a better quality of life and a thriving economy”,  said David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science. “This £24 million investment will make Glasgow a city of tomorrow, demonstrating how cities can work more efficiently with a reduced environmental impact.”

Cities in developed countries share common issues such as health and energy needs, crime prevention and anti-social behaviour.  The government hopes to stimulate the development solutions that will address these challenges, allowing the city to distribute core services to those who need it and improve travel its infrastructure.

“This is a huge boost to Glasgow’s ambitions to build a better future for our city and its people. This investment and the work we will be doing will put us at the forefront of innovative and smart cities not just in the UK but in Europe and beyond”, said Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council.

Technology Strategy Board has big plans for the project, as first priority they hope to use the Technologies and lessons learn from the project to apply locally.  However, they also hope to export these to other countries.