Thursday, September 29, 2022

Edinburgh's progressive smart city transformation

Edinburgh's progressive smart city transformation

More countries are embracing digital transformation and turning their cities “smart” to improve the efficiency of urban services, for a better quality of life. This requires the adoption of advanced technologies that can facilitate better data-driven decision-making, citizen and government engagement and  transport systems.

Edinburgh Council, said in an announcement, that “It will extend its digital services contract with global information and communications technology services provider CGI.”

The five-year relationship will be extended until 2029, rather than the initial expiry date of 2023. It will provide stability for the council’s ICT services and enabling the Scottish capital to further digitally transform its services.

A £186 million deal with CGI was originally signed by the Council in August 2015, to outsource its ICT services and help the council introduce integrated digital services.

The deal, according to the announcement, aims to create a smart city operations centre to deliver transformative digital services using the likes of AI, the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) and Advanced Analytics.

Edinburgh’s plans include responding to the needs of a post-Covid city by driving forward digital transformation, along with connecting the digital divide between Edinburgh’s most and least affluent areas.

Furthermore, ICT provides digital services for Edinburgh’s citizens to facilitate online transactions, while improving bandwidth speeds available to primary and secondary schools, according to the Council. As well as using ‘smart city’ systems like intelligent traffic signals, smart streetlights that can control their own luminosity, street bins that can signal when they are full and smart sensors in council homes to predict, manage and prevent damage to properties such as damp.

The city also has plans to increase digital security to protect the council’s network data and bring down the council’s carbon footprint by reducing paper and print, reducing waste, and introducing recycling equipment.

“Becoming a smart city will make Edinburgh a more sustainable and fair city so I’m pleased we’ve secured CGI’s long-term support to help us with our vision,” Cammy Day, leader on the City of Edinburgh Council’s Smart Cities, said.

CGI President for the UK and Australia Tara McGeehan said: “CGI, as the primary provider of transformational ICT services to the City of Edinburgh Council, has helped make the process of living and working in Edinburgh more transparent, more collaborative and more dynamic, delivering significant benefits to the city.