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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
07 December 2022
Edinburgh eyes smart city status

Cammy Day opens Edinburgh's new control centre

Edinburgh eyes smart city status

Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council Cammy Day has opened what has been dubbed a “revolutionary new City Operations Centre”.

The centre will use new technologies to improve surveillance as the city strives to become a leader in the UK in smart security. The city’s digital Video Surveillance System is one of the main upgrades, which allows enhanced video analytic function and data protection capabilities.  

It has been delivered by IT service and solutions provider North as part of a £2.6m contract that was funded by the Council and the European Regional Development Fund’s (ERDF) programme known as ‘Scotland’s 8th City – the Smart City'.  

The new system, which is replacing a centre which was deemed no longer fit for purpose, will be manned and receive real-time data from the CCTV network 24/7. It is hoped it will integrate with other technologies which will help to improve traffic flow, transport infrastructure and city planning - subsequently improving the city’s collective carbon footprint.

The council believes that access to real-time data and advanced analytics will drastically help the Council and partners respond to emergencies and manage large-scale events like Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and August Festivals.

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“We’ve completely overhauled the technology we use within the control centre and across the city – replacing outdated analogue cameras with intelligent internet-enabled devices.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 it's thanks to trailblazing projects like this. We’re also rolling out waste and housing sensors, and 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, said: “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 its ambition to reach 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.”

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