Glasgow’s strategy to ‘bring social and economic benefits from digital revolution’

A partnership that will invest in digital infrastructure and 5G technology, a collaboration to improve digital inclusion and participation, and a ‘Smart City Challenge’ to stimulate innovation in businesses were among proposals announced today by Glasgow City Council as part of its new digital strategy.

The council said the strategy had the aim of “maximising the contribution that digital technology can make in achieving inclusive economic growth” and “ensuring digital technology plays a transformative and innovative role in how future public services are delivered”.

“We are living in a time of huge and accelerating technological change, and we need to ensure that Glasgow is ready to embrace the opportunities and meet the challenges that the digital revolution will bring for our economy and the future of our public services,” said Angus Millar, the council’s depute  convener for economic growth.

“While Glasgow is already recognised as an innovative smart city with a strong and diverse digital tech sector, the strategy and the partnership working across the city that it underpins, will help us take the next steps in becoming a digital global leader.

“It will guide the city in taking advantage of the opportunities digital technology offers to improve our public services and create inclusive economic growth that people across Glasgow can benefit from.”

Among the 74 actions to be delivered is:

The roll-out of more than 50,000 iPads to the city’s schoolchildren and upgrade to school WiFi

  • The introduction of more ‘Smart City’ infrastructure such as intelligent street lighting
  • A commitment to open data
  • New work to identify digital technology skills gaps and the future digital skills needs of Glasgow’s economy
  • The development of a 3D strategy to develop 3D building models to support planning and regeneration in Glasgow.

“Glasgow’s digital tech sector is the largest in Scotland, and the city has achieved global recognition as a leading smart city with notable innovations in data analytics and big data,” the council said in a statement.

In 2013, Glasgow won a £24m award, beating 30 other UK cities, to develop Future City Demonstrator programmes in areas such as smart infrastructure and smart energy. They have acted as a catalyst for the digital transformation of public services, said the council, in turn attracting further investment in smart city innovation.

Glasgow is also home to two Innovation Districts – one in the city centre and one in the West End – and the Centre for Civic Innovation, based at the Tontine.