Glasgow - Future Cities Competition winner...
It is difficult not to shoot fish in a barrel but losing out to the City of Glasgow in the Future Cities competition run by the Technology Strategy Board, really makes you wonder why we Peterborough entered in the first place? Yes, we were shortlisted, and we have a football father and son connection with that City, but was it to simply make up the numbers? Were we ever seriously in the final selection process? Normally the temptation would be to just move on and consider the next bolt out of the blue to hit us, but it was a cliche filled flip comment carried in the Peterborough Telegraph that made a few of us at Trib Towers wonder how the Glaswegians viewed it, the PBOROtrib investigated and frankly the two versions don't match up.
We are not even certain if Council Leader Cllr Marco Cereste was around for the final interviews on December 5th, or already jetting off home to Italy, but this is what the Peterborough Telegraph reported:
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Steve Bowyer, head of economic development at Opportunity Peterborough, said: “This has been a complex competition, but one that has provided a great insight into how the city functions and the innovative companies that are here.
“A great deal of work went into developing our bid using only local expertise, and the support from the public has been incredible.
“The whole process was invaluable in terms of new intelligence, ideas and momentum. We don’t want to lose any of that so we’ll be working with partners to see how we can continue to bring forward some of the solutions.”Clearly as the bid was put together using public money, we the public should see and be in a position to debate the content of the actual failed document presented.
The news of the award carried on the City of Glasgow website paints a very different picture and does however call for some priorities within our small City to be re-examined. The simple truth is that everything that had been planned during the 'good' years, will in the current economic climate simply not work. As by April 25th, the UK heads towards a triple dip recession, degraded international credit status, and all that comes with it. Back on Peterborough, the conservative controlled council will continue to vote themselves 20 -30 per cent allowance increases,whilst mere mortals wrestle with one or two percent rises but in reality a drop in living standards, as food and fuel prices continue to rocket. But having read the quote above contrast it with the hard nosed stance from Glasgow:
GLASGOW WINS £24 million FUTURE CITIES competition
Glasgow City Council has welcomed news that it has won a £24 million future cities competition to showcase how UK cities can grow their local economy and improve the lives of their citizens by making the most of new technologies and by integrating and connecting city systems.
The Future Cities Demonstrator competition, managed and funded by the government's innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, saw Glasgow secure the major funding in an open competition against 30 other UK cities.
Making the announcement in Glasgow's City Chambers, David Willetts, the Minister for Universities and Science, 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."
Led by Glasgow City Council in partnership with key public, private and academic organisation including the University of Strathclyde, the demonstrator project will be run over an 18 month period.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "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.
"Glasgow is a city which is constantly evolving and regenerating and we are always looking to the future.
"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.
"This 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."
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: "We are delighted to welcome this major investment in Glasgow. The University of Strathclydes' Technology and Innovation Centre will host the revolutionary City Observatory. This will allow academic, business and industry researchers to analyse more than 200 information feeds about Glasgow - its health, economy, transport, energy use - to map the relationships between them and to understand how a 21st century city operates.
"Evaluating these relationships is a fast-growing research area and one which Strathclyde is playing pivotal role. The understanding that the City Observatory gives us will form the basis the development of new ways of developing our cities to tackle the grand challenges of the 21st century. Through our city's world-class research and innovation base, coupled with the great ambitions the city is showing, we can make a disproportionately positive impact on our citizens' lives and opportunities, our economic growth and our international reputation."
This large-scale, city-wide, demonstrator will show what can be achieved by innovative use of today's technology. The results from Glasgow's demonstrator will be made available to innovative UK businesses and will provide valuable learning to enable them to test and develop integrated new urban solutions and technologies that can be sold around the world.
At its simplest, the project will allow Glasgow to develop a one-stop shop City Dashboard which will help monitor city systems from traffic lights and CCTV to air quality monitoring and street lighting faults and services like hospital waiting times and journey planning.
Some examples of the applications for Glasgow of the new demonstrator:-
On journey planning, it will allow Glaswegians get a real time view of where what is happening with traffic levels on roads, as well as, checking if buses and trains are on time. This information will allow the public to plan journeys across Glasgow as they are about to embark on one.
Monitoring of energy levels across the city, including 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. This has the potential to cut people's fuel bills and help the city in its fight against fuel poverty and give Glaswegians access to affordable warmth.
Monitoring footfall 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.
Via a smartphone app, Glaswegians will be able to report issues like pot holes or missing bin collections and monitor their resolution.
Faster identification of traffic incidents by better integration of CCTV and traffic management.
Improved crime prevention and detection of crime as well as, helping to reduce anti-social behaviour incidents through the improved use of camera technology and the integration of data.
Potential to give residents real-time information on waiting lists in hospitals around the city.
Councillor Matheson added: "By using technology intelligently we can bring together all the different aspects of our city's life. We will be able to make Glasgow smarter, healthier, safer - helping it to continue to thrive and attract new businesses and residents.
"By linking everything from foot and vehicle traffic to council tax collection and hospital waiting lists we can ensure we are being as innovative and smart to meet the continued challenges of a modern and future city life. One practical result will be a Glasgow smartphone app which will allow members of the public to also interact with the new technology."
Last year, the UK government launched a £24m competition for a large-scale demonstrator in its hunt for ideas for a "future city".
Local authorities of urban areas with a population of at least 125,000 were asked to enter the Future Cities Demonstrator competition, which is funded by the Technology Strategy Board
It called for large-scale designs demonstrating unique and functional methods of integrating city systems in an environmentally-sound, economical way to improve the overall quality of life.
Transport, communication and waste management are just a handful of the systems cities and local authorities should be considering when they put together the proposals.
£50,000 in to develop feasibility studies on the demonstrator.
In July 2012, 30 local authorities across the UK were awarded grants of £50,000 in to develop feasibility studies on the demonstrator.
It was then announced in November that four cities - Bristol, Glasgow, London and Peterborough - had been shortlisted for final interview on 5 December 2012 by the Technology Strategy Board. Glasgow was chosen as the winner.
What do you think? Hit the comments icon below? This is a debate that really needs to happen.
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