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Edinburgh progresses plans to become a smarter and more sustainable city

The Scottish capital of Edinburgh has announced a new three-year digital strategy to further its plans to become a smarter and more sustainable city.

The City of Edinburgh Council adopted the strategy, the Digital and Smart City strategy, in an effort to better plan the designing of the council’s future technology use cases. This strategy sets out to essentially plan how this technology should be designed and used for their services. This has been unanimously approved by members of the Policy and Sustainability Committee.

Edinburgh has always been a future-forward city. The strategy is in line with the city’s 2050 vision as it sets out a new approach for the use of data and cloud-based tech. Indeed, connecting and automating systems is an integral part of digital transformation. This poses a plethora of benefits, some of which include ensuring greater accessibility, security and efficiency in their services for the residents of Edinburgh.

“We want to become a digital council and a world leading smart city, and this plan will help to get us there. At home and at work, we’re all increasing out use of technology to make our day to day lives simpler, greener and more connected,” said Depute Leader of the city’s council Cammy Day.

“Likewise, digital is playing a major role in the way we operate as a council and we need to keep refreshing our approach so that we stay on top. We know that smart technology helps us to provide even more user-friendly council services and better value for residents. This strategy will help us to keep advancing so that we can continue to meet the demands of a growing capital city like Edinburgh,” he added.

Adam McVey, council leader, stated, “Technology is a great enabler. We’ve seen it used in many ways we never thought of during this pandemic, not only to keep our own services running but to enjoy our festivals virtually and to visit our libraries online. Our vision is to build on this and see Edinburgh become a leading smart city, opening up access to new technologies which benefit all of our residents, workers, visitors and businesses.”

“We are already progressing a number of really innovative projects under our extended contract with CGI and this strategy will act as a guide for all of this work. This is about working together towards a more sustainable and inclusive service for the people of Edinburgh and providing the type of flexible and agile working a forward-thinking city like ours needs,” he continued.

The key principles of the strategy include: re-using or repurposing available infrastructure before building anew; focusing on citizen-centric requirements; being resilient, reliable, performant and secure in the solutions they offer; focusing on strategic solutions rather than tactical ones; balancing delivery, quality, best value and scope; working within agreed standards and complying with legislation; and consistently improving and innovating existing systems.