£24m technology prize to transform Glasgow in the future city

Home Città e Territori £24m technology prize to transform Glasgow in the future city

Last year, the UK government launched a £24m competition for a large-scale demonstrator in its hunt for ideas for a "future city". Local authorities of urban areas with a population of at least 125,000 were asked to enter the Future Cities Demonstrator competition, which is funded by the Technology Strategy Board.

4 Marzo 2013

A

Andrea Pasqualetti

Last year, the UK government launched a £24m competition for a large-scale demonstrator in its hunt for ideas for a "future city". Local authorities of urban areas with a population of at least 125,000 were asked to enter the Future Cities Demonstrator competition, which is funded by the Technology Strategy Board.

The Technology Strategy Board is an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB), established by the Government in 2007 and sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The activities of the Technology Strategy Board are jointly supported and funded by BIS and other government departments, the devolved administrations and research councils.

It was then announced in November that four cities – Bristol, Glasgow, London and Peterborough – had been shortlisted for final interview by the Technology Strategy Board. Glasgow was chosen as the winner.

Transport, communication and waste management are just a handful of the systems cities and local authorities should be considering when they put together the proposals.

Glasgow City Council has welcomed news that it has won a £24 million future cities competition to showcase how UK cities can grow their local economy and improve the lives of their citizens by making the most of new technologies and by integrating and connecting city systems.

Currently more people than ever before living in  cities, they need to be able to provide people with a better quality of life and a thriving economy. Glasgow will be a city of tomorrow, demonstrating how cities can work more efficiently with a reduced environmental impact.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "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. This is about what is going to happen in Sao Paulo and Lagos. Glasgow is a city which is constantly evolving and regenerating and we are always looking to the future. Winning this money will put us years ahead of other UK cities in terms of integrating our technological systems to make them work for and talk to each other. This will help us to create a more efficient and a more sustainable city which can adapt and move ahead of the technology of the day and make it work for everyone who lives or works in Glasgow."

This large-scale, city-wide, demonstrator will show what can be achieved by innovative use of today’s technology. The results from Glasgow’s demonstrator will be made available to innovative UK businesses and will provide valuable learning to enable them to test and develop integrated new urban solutions and technologies that can be sold around the world.

The aim is for Glasgow to develop a one-stop "City Dashboard" similar to those seen on computers to monitor systems from traffic lights and CCTV to air-quality testing and street lighting. Hospital waiting times will available for the public to check.

Some examples of the applications for Glasgow of the new demonstrator:

  • On journey planning, it will allow Glaswegians get a real time view of where what is happening with traffic levels on roads, as well as, checking if buses and trains are on time. This information will allow the public to plan journeys across Glasgow as they are about to embark on one.
  • Monitoring of energy levels across the city, including the new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, which will allow the city to store energy when demand is low and then use it during times when it is higher. This has the potential to cut people’s fuel bills and help the city in its fight against fuel poverty and give Glaswegians access to affordable warmth.
  • Monitoring footfall and retail demand to see which parts of Glasgow are doing well and also which areas need more support from the city. It will also allow the public to plan a shopping outing by judging where is busiest or quietest in the city.
  • Via a smartphone app, Glaswegians will be able to report issues like pot holes or missing bin collections and monitor their resolution.
  • Faster identification of traffic incidents by better integration of CCTV and traffic management.
  • Improved crime prevention and detection of crime as well as, helping to reduce anti-social behaviour incidents through the improved use of camera technology and the integration of data.
  • Potential to give residents real-time information on waiting lists in hospitals around the city.

Councillor Matheson added: "By using technology intelligently we can bring together all the different aspects of our city’s life. We will be able to make Glasgow smarter, healthier, safer – helping it to continue to thrive and attract new businesses and residents.

"By linking everything from foot and vehicle traffic to council tax collection and hospital waiting lists we can ensure we are being as innovative and smart to meet the continued challenges of a modern and future city life. One practical result will be a Glasgow smartphone app which will allow members of the public to also interact with the new technology."

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