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Want to win a smart city contest? Here's how Glasgow did it

Submitted by jesse_berst on September 25, 2013

Glasgow, Scotland competed with 29 other UK cities to win the Future Cities Demonstrator designation from the UK's Technology Strategy Board, along with roughly $38 million to help finance its ideas. What were the ideas that brought Glasgow to the top of the heap? The "Between the Poles" blog posted a summary recently. Below are some of the highlights. -- Jesse Berst

  • The overall theme: Integrated services across health, transport, energy and public safety.
  • The goals: 1) Improve the local economy. 2) Increase the quality of life of Glasgow's citizens. 3) Test new solutions that can be exported around the globe.
  • Key initiatives: A) Establish a citywide technology platform, including open source geospatial technology to be used by all. B) Build a unified operations center. C) Develop innovative demonstration projects in four focus areas: health, transport, energy, public safety. D) Develop an Open Data portal to encourage new businesses to use city data to provide useful services. Read more about Glasgow's Open Data initiative from the                                                 
  • Health focus: Improve the upward mobility of Glasgow's citizens (70% of Glasgow neighborhoods are below the national norm).
  • Transport focus: Reduce congestion by route optimization and other technologies.
  • Image removed.Energy focus: Smart buildings that analyze sensor data to adjust their own lighting and heating.
  • Public safety focus: Smart street lighting and video surveillance of public areas.
  • Early progress: MyGlasgow, the app shown here that lets citizens report problems such as potholes.

You can read more about Glasgow smart city projects at the Future City Glasgow website. Suppliers of smart city technologies may want to visit this page to be notified when Glasgow is ready to procure products and services.


Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to subscribe to SmartCitiesNow, the weekly newsletter highlighting smart city trends, technologies and techniques.