Edinburgh creates security hub to support smart-city ambitions

Council leader says that Scottish capital is looking to use tech to become ‘more sustainable and data-driven’

A cityscape of Edinburgh   Credit: Anthony Ashley/Pixabay

The City of Edinburgh Council has opened a new multimillion-pound security hub it hopes will establish the Scottish capital as a leading smart city.

The City Operations Centre, opened this week by council leader Cammy Day, will use new security technologies – including an upgrade of the authority’s digital video surveillance system, which will replace analogue cameras with devices that run on internet protocol technology. This will provide improved data protection and analytics functionality, according to the council.

The facility has been co-delivered by IT firm North as part of a £2.6m contract funded by the council and the European Regional Development Fund’s 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 d receive live data from the city’s CCTV network. It is hoped it will integrate with other technologies with the aim of improving traffic flow, transport infrastructure and city planning, as well as ultimately reducing the Edinburgh’s carbon footprint.

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The council believes that access to real-time information and advanced analytics will help the authority and its partners respond to emergencies and manage large events like the Hogmanay and August Festivals.

Day said that, supported by infrastructure like the new operations centre, “Edinburgh is fast becoming an example of a truly smart city”. 

The city is also implementing other smart-city technologies such as “waste and housing sensors, and innovative digital learning opportunities in schools, while exploring an urban traffic management control system”, the council leader added.

“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,” he added.


Sam Trendall

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