Edinburgh eyeing ‘smart city’ status as new £2.6m facility opens

Council officer, Miranda Mitoshi, demonstrates the new operations centre for council leader, Cammy Day.

EDINBURGH is eyeing smart city status after a new ‘revolutionary’ city operations centre was opened in the capital.

Harnessing high-tech equipment to keep the city safe and moving, the City of Edinburgh Council said the new facility will position the Scottish capital as a leader in the UK for smart security and surveillance tools.

It has been delivered in partnership with IT service and solutions provider, North, as part of a £2.6 million contract. It replaces an ‘outdated’ control centre which the local authority said was ‘no longer fit for purpose’.

The new smart operations centre will be banned and receive real-time data from the CCTV network 24/7. The council said it will integrate other technologies which will help to improve traffic flow and transport infrastructure and city planning.

Furthermore, the council said the accessibility to real-time data and advanced analytics will ‘drastically’ help it and partners respond to emergencies and manage large-scale events such as Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and August festivals.

The City of Edinburgh Council leader, Cammy Day, said, “This new operations centre has been years in the making and it’s fantastic to see it live in action. With cutting-edge low-carbon technology designed to keep the city moving and our communities safe, it drastically steps up our capabilities as a council.

“We’ve completely overhauled the technology we use within the control centre and across the city – replacing outdated analogue cameras with intelligent internet-enabled devices. This means we can analyse events and traffic in real time. Particularly as our city grows, our investment will support the safety of the public and wider community, deterring and preventing anti-social behaviour and crime like we sadly experienced recently on Bonfire Night and Remembrance Sunday.

“Edinburgh is fast becoming an example of a truly smart city and its thanks to trailblazing projects like this. We’re also rolling out waste and housing sensors, innovative digital learning opportunities in schools, while exploring an urban traffic management control system which is a tool for monitoring traffic flow. The whole operation is much more sustainable and data driven which, crucially, is going to lead to more efficient council services for the people of Edinburgh.”

Scott McEwan, acting CEO at North, added, “Helping to drive positive change through smart technology and improved operational systems across Edinburgh is something that North is incredibly proud of. Working together, the city now has access to real-time data that will influence the future of city planning, improve large-scale events and create a greener environment for generations to come.

“The City of Edinburgh Council is making transformational steps to becoming a Smart City and its forward-thinking approach to the adoption of IoT solutions will help to accelerate their ambition to reaching such status. We are really excited for the local authority to see the seismic impact introducing smart technologies has on the quality of the environment, and importantly, on the health and wellbeing of people who live in and visit Edinburgh.”