Leonid Andronov - stock.adobe.co
City of Edinburgh Council has a stated aim to become a world-leading smart city that is digitally inclusive and sustainable, with services easily accessible by all of its residents. To fulfil this ambition, it has signed a five-year contract with CGI to realise the transformation.
Procurement of this city management asset is supported via a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant as part of the Scotland’s 8th City – the Smart City programme. City of Edinburgh Council is delivering three projects budgeted at £6.4m, of which £2.5m is part of the ERDF grant.
The agreement with CGI comes a year after the two parties agreed an outsourcing deal and includes deployment of the independent IT and business consulting services firm’s SensorInsights360 real-time data platform, which delivers an end-to-end approach to the internet of things (IoT), asset data collection and asset management.
It is designed to identify ways to improve operational efficiency while proactively monitoring and managing critical services and is seen as able to harnesses technological solutions to provide the data insights, processes and tools required to achieve transformational change and deliver high-quality services to the citizens of Scotland’s capital.
The technology will be implemented through a Smart City Operations Centre to bring smart city transformations to Edinburgh. Benefits it will deliver include more proactive estate management, creating better services and neighbourhoods for citizens, enabling healthier and safer social housing with increased sustainability and regulatory compliance, improving waste management by utilising smart bins, sustainable recycling and route optimisation, and using data to drive more “real world” efficiencies.
Together with the council, CGI has already started its smart city work by implementing the Edinburgh Learns for Life digital system to transform learning and teaching in schools, providing equality of attainment in education. This will be achieved by deploying 39,000 iPads to 35,000 pupils and 4,000 teachers in more than 120 schools through a phased roll-out of digital devices to every school pupil from P6 to S6, with additional iPads issued to P1 to P5 year groups.
City of Edinburgh Council deputy leader Cammy Day said: “We’re looking to deliver a more digitally enabled, proactive service to help make everyone’s lives in our Scottish capital better, and so we can continue our work towards ending poverty, meeting our net-zero targets and improving wellbeing for all. This smart city partnership will help us achieve that ambition – whether it is improved safety on our streets, better waste management or enhancements to other core services and operations.
“We are also fully committed to giving our young people the best possible start in life by better equipping them for their educational future. Through CGI, we believe we have found a strong partnership that will deliver on that world-leading vision and will change the way we provide our services to all, while providing benefits in our community – assisting businesses, groups and the environment by, for example, sponsoring playing kits for a number of school and sports teams, providing technical expertise and connectivity help for community groups and planting 100 trees across the city.”
Tara McGeehan, UK & Australia president at CGI, added: “Edinburgh is a vibrant and diverse capital city that is home to more than 518,000 citizens and CGI has been the primary provider of transformational ICT services to the City of Edinburgh Council since 2015. CGI has a global track record of smart city success in cities such as Montreal and Helsinki, where efficient use of modern technology has made the relationship between citizens and their cities simpler and more transparent.
“We very much look forward to taking Edinburgh’s vision of a smart city and making it real through our innovative use of technology, analytics and data. Together, we will turn Edinburgh into one of the world’s leading smart cities.”
Read more about smart cities
- London publishes guidelines for ethical use of smart city tech in latest draft of the ‘Emerging Technology Charter for London’ which encourages local authorities, public services and technology companies to improve how they implement technology in the capital.
- UK councils have a huge opportunity to improve services through the use of smart city technologies – but they must avoid the cyber security risks, says the government’s digital minister.
- 5G accelerator 5PRING and West Midlands local authorities announce smart cities challenge to innovators in health, social and public services to help lead the 5G revolution with local authorities.