26. We will work with the Cities Alliance to progress Smart Cities initiatives

Implementation Lead(s): Cities Alliance;Scottish Government

Locations: Cities Network

Further reading:
Scottish Cities Alliance

Environmental Mitigation: None identified.

Ongoing Activity and Milestones:

Refining the strategic case – focusing particularly on articulating and refining the opportunities and benefits.

Developing the roadmap/strategic options – a reference model has been developed, based on best practice and has been used to assess each city’s current capabilities and existing development plans.

External Funding and Collaboration – focusing on learning from international experience and consider how we can collectively support and forge collaborations with both international and UK cities.

Dissemination, Communication and Learning – tracking and identifying best practice and learning and working to accelerate ‘smart’ projects across Scotland.

Through the Scottish Cities Alliance (SCA), the Scottish Government and City Leaders have committed to the design of a collaborative smart cities investment programme. To fund the programme ‘Scotland’s 8th City – the Smart City’ ERDF Strategic Intervention has been identified as one of 25 strategic interventions in Scotland’s European Structural Funds 2014-2020 programme with funding of 15 million Euros (£10m)

The Scottish Cities Alliance aims to combine their Smart City approach with their City Infrastructure Priorities to:

  • Understand the baseline position for cities and the ambition for the future
  • Design and develop projects linking where appropriate to existing City Infrastructure Priorities
  • Win funding from European and other funding sources

In partnership with Urban Tide, the Alliance have produced a self-assessment document designed to establish each city’s smart priorities. This document, provides guidance on the smart cities self-assessment work undertaken by the seven cities in the latter part of 2014. The results of the Self-Assessment process led to the production of a Smart Cities Investment Roadmap across the Scottish Cities. To provide a long term strategic focus for development and investment in Smart City activity, both at an individual and collective city level, the Alliance via Urban Foresight has now undertaken a ‘stock take’ and developed a Smart Cities Scotland Blueprint which launched on 28 Sept 2016.

The blueprint provides an initial strategic basis for the delivery of Smart Cities operational activity across Scotland. The Blueprint sets out five delivery objectives or ‘Pathfinders’ to characterise how cities can work together to advance both individual and joint smart cities initiatives. This places improving the lives of citizens at its heart and establishes that this will be driven by the principles of collaboration & engagement, openness, innovation, sustainability and resource efficiency.

The Alliance, with Glasgow as lead partner, is co-ordinating the development of a programme which will deliver the objectives set out in the Blueprint.  The Alliance announced the first projects being funded and delivered across the cities in December 2016, these include: Smart Infrastructure – Intelligent Street lighting; Smart Services – Waste; Smart Infrastructure – Innovation Labs and Open Data operations.

On 28 Sept 2016 Nesta, the UK innovation charity published CITIE Scotland research which looked at the smart city readiness and the strengths of each city outlining the strong performance of Scotland’s Cities against a range of indicators supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. The report made a series of recommendations for Scotland and the individual cities on the roles they can play to support our Smart Cities ambitions.

Smart Cities delivery work is rightly led by the cities themselves. We are committed as partners and members of the Scottish Cities Alliance to supporting this work as it develops, to ensure national, not just metropolitan, benefit. The Scottish Government’s refreshed Digital Strategy will reflect the progress being made by the Alliance, and what more might be done at a national level to support smart cities.

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