Edinburgh City Council has announced a new strategy with aspirations for the capital to become a sustainable Smart City by 2050.

According to Government Computing, through the new strategy, the Council is planning how its technology services will be designed, sourced and delivered over the next three years.

In line with the city’s 2050 City Vision, the new Digital and Smart City strategy discusses how data and cloud-based technology will provide residents with improved accessible, secure, and efficient services.

As well as this, as part of Edinburgh’s ambitions to be net-zero by 2030, there is a focus on recycling and paperless technology to save money and reduce carbon emissions.

City of Edinburgh Council’s Smart Cities leader Cammy Day commented: “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 are all increasing our use of technology to make our day to day lives simpler, greener and more connected. 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.”

He added that smarter technology will help provide more user-friendly services from the council, meaning better value for the city’s residents.

The Council says the Digital and Smart Cities Strategy will “maximise the potential of digital technologies to improve outcomes and services” for people, councillors, colleagues, visitors, and businesses in Edinburgh.

The strategy includes plans to implement 5G, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), smart parking and electric vehicle charging.

There is also provision for wearable and mobile tech, smart public transport and greater citizen engagement.

Council Leader, Adam McVey explained that the pandemic has shown how technology can be a great enabler, not only keeping essential services operating, but also helping people enjoy the city’s festivals virtually, and online library services.

“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,” he said.

He added that the strategy was about everyone working together towards a sustainable and inclusive service for Edinburgh residents.

The strategy will run over three years, from 2020 to 2023. An implementation plan is set to be prepared to support the strategy which the council says will be reviewed and refreshed quarterly.

Edinburgh Council’s Smart City announcement comes after it announced an extended a deal with global ICT services provider CGI in early September this year, to help boost the city’s digital ambitions.

A £186 million deal with CGI was initially signed in August 2015, aiming to outsource ICT services and help the council introduce integrated digital services.

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