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Dienstag, 18.06.2024
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  • Edinburgh is marking the completion of the first phase of its smart city programme and the implementation of an intelligent urban infrastructure

Edinburgh’s smart city projects have already tackled issues such as digital inclusion and air quality and helped the council deliver services more effectively.

The Scottish capital of Edinburgh is marking the completion of the first phase of the council’s smart city operations programme at its City Chambers. Projects have already improved digital inclusion for residents as well as helped the council deliver services more effectively.

The council unveiled a plaque recognising delivery of the projects and part funding by the European Regional Development Fund, as part of Edinburgh’s participation in the Scotland’s 8th City – the Smart City programme.

Smart city projects

Projects to date include installing 11,000 smart bin sensors in litter and communal bins throughout the city and, as part of the council’s commitment to providing warm and healthy homes, trialling humidity, temperature and CO2 sensors in 500 council properties.

Earlier this year, as part of ongoing work to lower the digital divide in the Scottish capital, CGI and Edinburgh completed the implementation of Edinburgh Learns for Life, a unique digital solution which enables equality of access to digital learning in schools and educational establishments.

The deployment to 23 secondary schools, 90 primary schools, 11 special educational schools, and 102 early years centres across the city included more than 44,000 digital devices being handed out to pupils and school staff, meaning all schoolchildren from P6 to S6 now have their own devices.

Delivery of the Smart City Operations Centre is born out of the partnership between City of Edinburgh Council and CGI, primary provider of end-to-end managed IT services for the council. The council has reportedly realised savings of £45m since the partnership began in 2015, with an additional £11m saved in 2018, and an extension agreed last year until 2029 is expected to realise a further £12m.

Replacing an outdated control centre which was no longer fit-for-purpose, the new smart operations centre will receive real-time data from the CCTV network 24/7. This will integrate other technologies which will help to improve traffic flow, transport infrastructure and city planning, subsequently improving the city’s collective carbon footprint.

It has been delivered in partnership with IT service and solutions provider North as part of a £2.6m contract, and is also funded by Scotland’s 8th City – the Smart City programme.

Given the accessibility to real-time data, advanced analytics will drastically help the council and partners respond to emergencies and manage large-scale events like Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and August Festivals. This has been delivered by North as part of the council’s partnership with CGI, and part funded through the ERDF programme.

“I’ve long been a champion of Edinburgh’s ambitions of becoming a world-leading smart city – a digitally inclusive, data-rich, and sustainable capital with services that are easily accessible by all our residents,” said council leader Cammy Day.

“So, I’m delighted that we’ve delivered a foundational platform to drive insights around how the city is operating, which we will build on into the future.

“From our trailblazing operations centre launched at the end of 2022 which allows us to analyse events and traffic in real time, to the 11,000 smart sensors we’ve installed in waste bins to make sure our collections are efficient, the first phase of our project towards becoming a smart city is complete.

“It has seen us adopt cutting-edge low-carbon technology and it’s already helping to keep the city moving and our communities safe, also supporting all schools and young people with digital devices.

“We’ve also completed the roll out of 1,500 environmental sensors to help us monitor and address issues in our council homes. Phase two of our smart city project is expected to expand this to all 20,000 of our homes and will also look at sourcing air and water quality sensors, which should help us to monitor our environment. We’ll also be looking into technology to help us address environmental issues like fly tipping.

“The whole operation is helping us to improve services and make them more sustainable and fit for the future, drastically stepping up our capabilities as a council.”

Smart traffic management

The City is also introducing a digital urban traffic management and control system (UTMC) based on its intelligent infrastructure to monitor traffic and environmental conditions around the city. It is hoped that this will contribute towards the council’s understanding and abilities around clearing congestion and improving air quality.

The system will continuously receive data from a range of sources, such as journey time, traffic flow and air quality, and act autonomously to make changes to traffic signal timings on the road network to improve traffic flow. It is already helping the council manage traffic flow disruptions produced by large events such as international rugby at Murrayfield.

In the next phase of the council’s smart city project, there are plans to install air quality monitoring sensors across 10 locations, measuring levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), with the opportunity of alerts when any areas experience poor air quality.

“I am delighted that Edinburgh is now officially a smart city through the Scottish capital’s continuing long-term partnership with CGI,” said Tara McGeehan, president, CGI UK and Australia.

“Together we will further develop Edinburgh’s use of innovative technology, analytics and data to ensure the city continues to lead the way globally in smart city evolution. This will enhance Edinburgh’s ambitions to be a greener, fairer and more prosperous and vibrant city for every one of its 518,000 citizens.”

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Quelle/Source: Smart Cities World, 04.10.2023

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