Edinburgh’s ‘smart’ ambitions have been boosted with the announcement of a new £2.6m security and surveillance CCTV control centre.

The city council will invest in high-definition cameras, expanded security coverage, and the introduction of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence that can provide ‘situational awareness and predict and alert new and existing threats’.

The council has partnered with North, a leading IoT service and solution provider, deliver a transformational project set for completion in September this year.

The project will see North intelligently integrate the security system with traffic and transportation platforms to enhance the management of city operations.

It will improve efficiency, quickly identify and address issues, provide simple and rapid retrieval of footage, and integrate with remote security systems that are currently not connected to the existing control room.

The new system will allow for better city planning and will be able to provide a richer view of how people interact with the urban environment – whether on foot, bicycle or vehicle.

“Edinburgh has big ambitions in becoming a world-leading smart city – a digitally inclusive, data-rich and sustainable city with services that are easily accessible by all of our residents no matter where they are in the city, or what their circumstances are,” said council deputy leader Cammy Day.

“We’re looking to deliver a more digitally-enabled proactive service to help make everyone’s lives in our Scottish Capital better and so we can continue our work towards ending poverty, meeting our net zero targets and improving wellbeing for all.

“With this smart city partnership with North we’re looking to make transformative differences to the way we manage our city – gathering real-time intelligence to improve safety on our streets, manage services more effectively and better serve the wellbeing of our residents.
Through North, alongside our other partners, we believe we’ve found a strong partnership that will deliver on our world-leading vision, changing the way we provide our services to all, while improving our communities.”

The project will see the delivery of:

  • Refurbishment and kit out of the control room at the central monitoring facility to create a central security hub
  • Upgrading the city’s digital video surveillance system (VSS) which will be adaptable and allow for integration into the Council’s vision of a smart city operations centre in the future
  • Advanced video analytics, set to greatly enhance city operations management and data analysis
  • Installation of high-resolution Internet Protocol (IP) cameras as visual sensors to create a state-of-the-art video surveillance system (VSS)
  • Replacing cameras from analogue to IP, which will drastically increase the quality of data captured and the capabilities of video content analysis and enable a variety of variables to be measured from data captured

The city operations capability project is jointly funded by the City of Edinburgh council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme known as ‘Scotland’s 8th City – the Smart City’. Edinburgh is one of the seven Scottish cities collaboratively working toward becoming a world leading smart city. Supported by the Scottish Cities Alliance, a partnership of Scotland’s seven city local authorities and the Scottish Government, £48.2 million, including £20.3 million of ERDF support, is being invested in the ‘Scotland’s 8th City – the Smart City’ Programme.