Glasgow wins £24 million for smart city projects

Glasgow has won its bid to host the Technology Strategy Board’s ‘Future Cities Demonstrator’ project, a pilot scheme to develop so-called smart city technologies.

The Scottish city beat 30 other candidates, including London, Peterborough and Bristol, to win the £24 million project funding.

The demonstrator will comprise a number of projects using open and real-time data to improve public services including travel, healthcare and housing. "It will develop programmes to promote healthy living, deliver advanced street lighting to address community safety and perception of crime, and enhance building energy efficiency to provide affordable warmth," the TSB said in a statement today.

The TSB said Glasgow won the competition thanks to its "strong, local authority led project proposal in partnership with their business and academic communities".

In 2011, Glasgow was selected as one of 24 cities chosen by IBM to receive a $400,000 "Smart City" grant. One of the projects IBM worked on in Glasgow used sensors to analyse heat dissipation in council housing, and redirected exhaust from a nearby industrial estate.

IBM’s influence is arguably evident in the TSB’s claim that the project will improve "the city’s real-time operations with a city dashboard and a management system that views the city as an integrated whole". IBM sells an Intergrated Operations Centre for city management, a product it originally developed for the city of Rio.

Tim Kay, KPMG’s technology start-up lead, said the move could provide an opportunity for up and coming UK technology companies working in the connected cities market, which has an estimated value of $35 billion in the coming years.

"Connected cities have the potential to improve the quality of life for residents through more efficient physical systems, improved, real-time information about what they want to hear about and reduced energy consumption from smart buildings," said Kay.

“Notwithstanding the infrastructure cost of creating connected cities, people will need to become more comfortable with sharing even more data on their location, habits and preferences to fully exploit the undoubted benefits," he said.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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