In March 2011 Glasgow already won the IBM Smart Cities Challenge initiative. With the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) award as a “follow up” they seem to set the pace on the smart city catwalk.
Glasgow was chosen to receive £24 million of government investment to demonstrate how a city of the future will work. Glasgow beat off competition from 30 other UK cities to host the TSB „Future Cities Demonstrator‟ .
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, commented: “The global market for innovative approaches to delivering efficient, attractive and resilient cities is growing, and UK companies – supported by our world-class academic and research base – are well-positioned to exploit it. This large-scale demonstrator will show just what can be achieved by innovative use of today‟s technology, and will help UK companies develop solutions and technologies for the future, for the benefit of the UK economy.”
The jury seemed to be impressed by a) the strong, local authority led project proposal which b) was set up in partnership with local business and academic communities. This approach of collaboration knocked Bristol, London and Peterborough from the shortlist.
So the smart spirit is up now! Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, announced quite ambitiously that “This investment and the work we are doing will put us at the forefront of innovative and smart cities not just in the UK but in Europe and beyond.”
I keep all my fingers crossed that we finally see a beauty that manages the step from a local catwalk to the flashlights of the world!