Edinburgh City Council sets out smart city aspirations in new digital strategy

Edinburgh City Council has unveiled a new digital strategy which sets out its aspirations to become a “sustainable” smart city.

Scotland’s capital is aiming to bring about a revolution in the way it uses data and delivers services to citizens – moving much of its operations onto cloud-based computing systems.

The Digital and Smart City strategy – which sets out principles for how the Council’s future technology services should be designed, sourced and delivered over the next three years – was unanimously approved by members of the Policy and Sustainability Committee on Tuesday.

In line with Edinburgh’s 2050 City Vision, the strategy sets out a fresh approach for using data and cloud-based technology to connect systems in the digital age, to provide even more accessible, secure and efficient services for residents. Plus, with a focus on re-using, recycling and paperless technologies, the plan will guide the Council to save money and reduce carbon emissions too, in line with Edinburgh’s net zero carbon by 2030 ambitions.

Depute Leader Cammy Day is the City of Edinburgh Council’s Smart Cities lead.

He said: “We want to become a digital Council and a world leading Smart City, and this plan will help to get us there.

 “At home and at work, we’re all increasing our use of technology to make our day to day lives simpler, greener and more connected. Likewise, digital is playing a major role in the way we operate as a Council and we need to keep refreshing our approach so that we stay on top.

“We know that smarter technology helps us to provide even more user-friendly Council services and better value for residents. This strategy will help us to keep advancing so that we can continue to meet the demands of a growing Capital city like Edinburgh.”

Adam McVey, Council Leader, added: “Technology is a great enabler. We’ve seen it used in many ways we never thought of during this pandemic, not only to keep our own services running but to enjoy our festivals virtually and to visit our libraries online.

“Our vision is to build on this and see Edinburgh become a leading Smart City, opening up access to new technologies which benefit all of our residents, workers, visitors and businesses. We are already progressing a number of really innovative projects under our extended contract with CGI and this strategy will act as a guide for all of this work.

“This is about working together towards a more sustainable and inclusive service for the people of Edinburgh and providing the type of flexible and agile working a forward-thinking city like ours needs. I’m pleased it has the support of Committee.”