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Edinburgh extends ICT partnership to realise its smart city vision

The Scottish capital will further work with provider CGI to put in place a programme of digital transformation which includes a range of smart city applications.

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Edinburgh claims the extension will save the council a further £12m
Edinburgh claims the extension will save the council a further £12m

The City of Edinburgh is extending its partnership with global ICT services provider, CGI, as part of its vision to become one of the world’s smartest capital cities.

 

The five-year relationship will be extended until 2029, providing stability for the council’s ICT services and enabling the Scottish capital to further digitally transform its services.

 

The council claims the extension will save a further £12m and help it look further ahead to the future.

 

Smart city applications

 

Future plans include creating a smart city operations centre to deliver transformative digital services and installing smart city applications such as intelligent traffic signals, smart streetlights and smart street bins.

 

“Becoming a smart city will make Edinburgh a more sustainable and fair city so I’m pleased we’ve secured CGI’s long-term support to help us with our vision,” said depute council leader Cammy Day, the City of Edinburgh Council’s smart cities lead.

 

He said: “We’re already well on our way to transforming the way we deliver many council services, making them much more efficient and easy to use for residents. We want to develop this further and under the contract we’re looking at making digital learning services a lot more accessible and inclusive for all our pupils and residents.”

“We realised savings of £45m when our partnership began in 2015, with an additional £11m in 2018 and this extension will save the council a further £12m at a time when our finances are under pressure”

The work it does with CGI will also support the council’s plans for lowering carbon emissions and lowering costs by using smart technology.

 

Day continued: “We realised savings of £45m when our partnership began in 2015, with an additional £11m in 2018 and this extension will save the council a further £12m at a time when our finances are under pressure.”

 

In a statement, the council said its plans will include:

  • responding to the needs of a post-Covid capital city by driving forward digital transformation
  • bridging the digital divide between Edinburgh’s most and least affluent areas, providing schools with the most advanced networks and kit
  • creating a smart city operations centre to deliver transformative digital services using technologies such as the artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced analytics
  • installing smart city systems such as intelligent traffic signals, smart streetlights that can control their own luminosity, street bins that can signal when they’re full and smart sensors in council homes to predict, manage and prevent damage to properties such as damp
  • increasing digital security to protect the council’s network and data
  • reducing the council’s carbon footprint by reducing paper and print, reducing waste, and reusing or recycling equipment
  • enhancing options for remote working for council employees
  • taking advantage of global trends such as moving to cloud-based services to reduce costs.

“Thanks to the work we’ve already achieved with CGI to use technology in much smarter ways, we’ve been able to respond quickly to the challenges of the pandemic and remote working, making sure our services can still be accessed by residents,” said Adam McVey, council leader.

 

He added: "Building on this will be crucial as we adapt to life beyond Covid and we want to create the most connected, efficient and sustainable capital we can.

 

“The contract extension will allow us to make substantial savings without compromising on our ambitious goals for the city or on the progress we’re making improving core and lifeline services for our residents. I’m looking forward to seeing Edinburgh evolve into a genuinely smart city and our partnership with CGI will sit at the heart of that work.”

 

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