Edinburgh installs high-tech integrated operations centre

Edinburgh has installed a new operations centre as it continues a nationwide push for a Scottish ‘smart city.’ 

The new centre will receive data from the city’s CCTV network and is staffed 24/7 to enable a more integrated approach to issues such as traffic, city planning and deterring anti-social behaviour. 

City of Edinburgh Council Leader, Cammy Day, said: ‘We’ve completely overhauled the technology we use within the control centre and across the city – replacing outdated analogue cameras with intelligent internet-enabled devices. 

‘This means we can analyse events and traffic in real time. Particularly as our city grows, our investment will support the safety of the public and wider community, deterring and preventing anti-social behaviour and crime like we sadly experienced recently on Bonfire Night and Remembrance Sunday.’ 

IT company North has partnered with the council to provide the new centre under a £2.6m contract, partly funded by the ‘Scotland’s 8th City – the Smart City’ programme created by the European Regional Development Fund.

Cllr Day explained that the integrated centre will sit alongside the other steps taken by the council in creating a ‘smart city’ including waste and housing sensors and digital learning programmes in schools. The council is also considering an ‘urban traffic management control system’ to monitor traffic flow. 

He said: ‘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.’ 

Part of the rollout for the new centre included updating the actual CCTV cameras around the city and replacing analogue systems with ‘high-resolution Internet Protocol devices.’ 

Scott McEwan, the acting CEO of North, said: ‘The City of Edinburgh Council is making transformational steps to becoming a Smart City and its forward-thinking approach to the adoption of IoT solutions will help to accelerate their ambition to reaching such status. 

‘We are really excited for the local authority to see the seismic impact introducing smart technologies has on the quality of the environment, and importantly, on the health and wellbeing of people who live in and visit Edinburgh.’ 

Over £48m has been invested in the smart cities project across Scotland, which involves Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth, and Sterling as well as Edinburgh. It is part of a series of tech-focussed programmes across the country, with seven ‘Techscaler’ hubs recently launching to provide help to tech start-ups in Scotland.

Photo: City of Edinburgh Council


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