Universities and Science Minister David Willets has announced that Glasgow will benefit from £24million in government investment in science and technology, having been awarded the chance to host the Technology Strategy Board’s ‘Future Cities Demonstrator’.
Glasgow beat 20 other cities in the UK to win the competition, managed by the government’s innovation agency, and the money will go towards making Glasgow "a model of what a future city could look like and how it could run".
Announcing the investment during a visit to Glasgow, David Willetts said: “With more people than ever before living in our cities, they need to be able to provide people with a better quality of life and a thriving economy. This £24 million investment will make Glasgow a city of tomorrow, demonstrating how cities can work more efficiently with a reduced environmental impact.
“We are in a global race and Glasgow can keep the UK at the forefront of innovative technology ideas. From transport systems to energy use and health, this demonstrator will play a key part in the government’s industrial strategy and give real insight into how our cities can be shaped in the future.”
The project will allow Glasgow to develop a ‘City Dashboard’ which will help monitor city systems andthe money go towards projects to improve transport and mobility, promote healthy living, address community safety and fear of crime and enhance energy efficiency.
Glaswegians will be able to monitor traffic levels on the road, in real-time, before embarking on their journey. People will also be able to check whether bus and train services are running on time, or whether there are disruptions.
Plans are also in place to monitor energy levels across the city, which include using the new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, which will allow the city to store energy when demand is low and then use it during times when it is higher.
The council also plans to monitor foot-fall and retail demand to see which parts of Glasgow are doing well and also which areas need more support from the city. It will also allow the public to plan a shopping outing by judging where is busiest or quietest in the city.
Some of the money will also go towards creating a City smartphone app, which will allow the people of Glasgow to report issues like pot holes or missing bin collections and monitor their resolution.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, added: "This is a huge boost to Glasgow's ambitions to build a better future for our city and its people. This investment and the work we will be doing will put us at the forefront of innovative and smart cities not just in the UK but in Europe and beyond.
"Winning this money will put us years ahead of other UK cities in terms of integrating our technological systems to make them work for and talk to each other. It will help us to create a more efficient and a more sustainable city which can adapt and move ahead of the technology of the day and make it work for everyone who lives or works in Glasgow."