005_EETE

EETE FEBRUARY 2013

networked city services Smart city boost for the UK By Nick Flaherty Smart cities are a key element of innovation strategy in Europe, and provide key opportunities both for the development of new sensor, monitoring and control technologies but also as potentially huge markets for companies with expertise in these embedded areas. Cities across the UK have been competing for a key £24m smart city project over the last year, won by Glasgow, Scotland’s second largest city. The Future City demonstrator will provide real-time information about traffic and apps to check that buses and trains are on time. The council will also create an app for reporting issues such as potholes and missing bin collections. Other services promised by the council include linking up the CCTV cameras across the city with its traffic management unit in order to identify traffic incidents faster. It will use analytical software and security cameras to help identify and prevent crime in the city and monitor energy levels to find new ways of providing gas and electricity to poorer areas where fuel poverty is a big issue. “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,” said Scott Cain, the TSB’s project leader for Future Cities, although the project team denied that affluence was a factor in the decision making. That view was backed up by UK Universities and Science Minister David Willetts. “With more people than ever before living in our cities, they need to be able to provide people with a better quality of life and a thriving economy,” he said. “From transport systems to energy use and health, this demonstrator will play a key part in the government’s industrial strategy and give real insight into how our cities can be shaped in the future,” he added. Glasgow was the first UK city to win the smart city status from IBM in March 2011, and gained key experience on IT systems The European smart city roadmap from SETIS and sensors. IBM has been increasing its involvement with smart cities in Europe. Its Dublin facility is the only Smart City research lab and looks at research in water, energy, transportation, city fabric, risk, exascale computing, and marine environments. The lab is comprised from researchers from institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Cambridge University, the Australian National University, and Trinity College Dublin. The lab is also directed and managed by staff from the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. However the decision to back Glasgow was a surprise. “Industry expectations have been overturned throughout this competition, and this result, too, will surprise many,” said Joe Dignan, Chief analyst for European Public Sector at market researcher Ovum. Initially, the smart money was on Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds + Bradford or Manchester to scoop the prize, given their level of preparation. However, only Bristol joined the shortlist alongside Glasgow, Peterborough and London. Peterborough was considered the wild card, while most felt London had already been given more than its fair share of the public purse in the lead up to the Olympics. “Glasgow’s success reflects a global trend in the development of future cities being presaged by a major global event. Although it was considered the outsider in this race, its preparation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games was the catalyst to get the right people around the table to look at the performance of the city as a whole,” he added. ” There is no doubt that the judging process was objective and Glasgow’s bid excellent, but one can be sure that Westminster is happy to show its commitment to Scotland at the current time.” While Bristol lost out to Glasgow for the Future City demonstrator project, the TSB judges rated the city’s bid very highly, so much so that they have awarded a £3m ‘runners-up’ prize. “While there is some disappointment that we did not gain the main prize, Bristol is now the only city in the UK to have won funding from Government to be both a Super Connected City and a Future City.” said George Ferguson, the newly elected mayor of Bristol… “Bringing these awards together gives us a pot of nearly £15m with which we can move really quickly to lever-in additional funding and support from business to help deliver our plans.” Bristol’s Smart City programme was also launched in March 2011 with funding from the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change and in August 2011 it raised over £300,000 from the EU for two projects as part of its Smart City Programme. 4 Electronic Engineering Times Europe February 2013 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE FEBRUARY 2013
To see the actual publication please follow the link above