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Glasgow awarded ‘smarter city’ grant

Glasgow is set to receive a government grant of £24 million for its quest to become one of the UK’s first ‘smart cities’. The Scottish metropolis beat 30 other applicants - including Bristol and Peterborough - to secure the ‘Future Cities Demonstrator’ investment from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

The funds will be spent on transforming the city into a test bed of technologies and a showcase of how urban centres might operate in the future, as all operational data will be made available to other interested cities.

"The thinking behind it is to have somewhere in the UK where firms can look at the efficiencies, the investments and how you can address the challenges of a city," explained Future Cities project leader Scott Cain.

The listed projects include connecting Glasgow’s network of CCTV cameras to its traffic management unit so that it can identify and react to road incidents more swiftly.

The initiative will also see new security cameras operated across the city using analytical software that can aid the prevention of crimes.

Projects of a smaller scale will see apps for real-time traffic information and public transport, as well as an app for reporting local concerns like potholes and lapsed rubbish pick up.

"Glasgow has some quite extreme challenges - it has the lowest life expectancy of any city in the UK for instance - and the hope is that if we bring together energy, transport, public safety and health it will make it more efficient and a better place to live," Scott said.

The smarter cities initiative is also being employed in London, Sunderland and Birmingham. More information on smarter cities - and what makes them 'smart' - can be found on the Smarter Trends site.