“The smart city can be defined as the integration of data and digital technologies into a strategic approach to sustainability, citizen well-being and economic development” – Scottish Government, 2014

Smart Cities adopt a ‘system-of-systems’ approach to service delivery and develop collaborative service models to focus on shared outcomes across organisational boundaries. Smart Cities make best use of data and digital technologies to invest in enhanced openness and transparency that promotes citizen and business engagement in, and ownership of, service reform.

The prospect is of cities and their regions using data and digital technologies to manage urban congestion, maximise energy efficiency through smart grid technology, enhance public security and resilience, allocate scarce resources based on real-time evidence and turn operational data into insight, information and knowledge.

The Smart Cities concept is based on replicating this data process across multiple systems delivering exponentially greater benefits with fuller deployment across all service areas.

Glasgow’s Smart City journey

Future City Glasgow

In 2013, Glasgow beat 50 other UK cities to win funding worth £24m from Innovate UK to explore innovative ways to use technology and data to make life in the city safer, smarter and more sustainable.

Over 18 months, Glasgow’s Future Cities Demonstrator developed a series of initiatives to showcase the exciting potential offered by smart city technology.

OPEN Glasgow

Cities and their citizens generate a huge amount of data which can be used in smart ways to achieve great things. Stepping boldly into the future, Glasgow developed an OPEN Data platform that allows the city and organisations to automate the publication of their data, allows it to be stored and makes it available on a large scale so that it is easy to access data.glasgow.gov.uk. It helps make the publication of open data sustainable for everyone in the city and helps us to understand and shape Glasgow in new and surprising ways.

Glasgow Operations Centre

The Glasgow Operations Centre is a state-of-the-art integrated traffic and public safety management system created with the help of Future City funding. By bringing together public CCTV, Glasgow Community Safety Services, Traffic Management Services and the Resilience and Safety Team, this centralised hub can assess and respond to situations large and small across the city. It also helped facilitate and safeguard the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Four Demonstrators to help show the way

The Intelligent Street Lighting Demonstrator showed how the city can use smarter streetlights to improve lighting quality, reduce energy usage and make maintenance more efficient. The pilot scheme also collected useful data that could have a positive impact on the quality of life and public safety in the two test locations, Riverside Walkway and Gordon Street, such as noise detection, movement detection, air pollution detection and WiFi service.

The Active Travel Demonstrator showed how the city can be made friendlier for both cyclists and pedestrians, and had the potential to inform strategies that could help Glasgow reach the Scottish Government target of 10% of all journeys being completed by bike.

The Energy Efficiency Demonstrator showed how obtaining increasingly accurate information could help inspire ways to cut emissions, reduce overheads and address issues of fuel poverty. By creating a detailed, data-rich portrait of Glasgow’s consumption, it became possible to identify and act upon factors that change energy behaviours.

The Integrated Social Transport Demonstrator helped some of Glasgow’s most vulnerable citizens access social and educational services. Smart integration and route scheduling software will increase flexibility and responsiveness, while also reducing operational costs and making it easier for the same transport to be used across various organisations.

See http://futurecity.glasgow.gov.uk/ for detailed overview of all the projects

How Smart can Glasgow be?

What are the opportunities?

The Future City Glasgow programme has provided a strong platform for Glasgow, it is already unlocking new projects and funding opportunities. We want to ensure that the significant benefits can be realised from the ‘network effect’ – as data, technology and people are joined together. This exponentially magnifies the potential benefits, impact and value that can be delivered.

During the next stages of the (Y)our City Centre Project we will use our Smart Cities Maturity Model and Self-Assessment Tool to help identify and understand what Smart projects are planned, commenced or an aspiration for the city centre districts.

The Smart Cities Maturity Model and Self-Assessment Tool draws on and adapts existing models and frameworks in this field, and was developed with the Scottish Government and Scottish Cities Alliance to use with all seven Scottish cities. It helps cities understand their position on the journey towards ‘smart’ and is designed to walk cities through the process of clearly understanding current activity, identifying next steps, and gaining an appreciation of the actions and resources required to realise their ambitions. Furthermore it supports the development of business cases to unlock investment and resources required to realise and take advantage of the opportunities delivered by a ‘system-of-systems’ smart city approach.

Investment in digital technologies and improved data management alone will not however deliver the Smart City. Over time cities need to consider the strategic intent, governance and service delivery models that exist together with their approach to citizen and business engagement if they are to secure the maximum impact from their investments. The ultimate vision is of a Smart City that strategically manages multiple systems at a city-wide level and through increased transparency, openness and shared accountability creates an innovation system that improves outcomes and enhances city competitiveness.

Please answer these questions in the comments section below:

  • What does the term “smart city” mean to you? Do you know of any smart city projects worldwide? If, yes what is your favourite?
  • Generally speaking, do you think Glasgow is “innovative”? Please list one or more things that would in your opinion make Glasgow smarter/more innovative?
  • What smart city projects would you like to see in Glasgow?


The Broomielaw District Regeneration Framework was launched on 29 August at the City Chambers. It is the first of the next four Glasgow City Centre District Regeneration Frameworks (Broomielaw, St Enoch, Central and Blythswood) as part of the City Centre Strategy.

Anyone with an interest in the Broomielaw District is invited to participate in (Y)our Broomielaw Event 01. This workshop will help set the agenda for the Broomielaw District Regeneration Framework, identifying challenges and opportunities for positive change in the next 10 years.

You can register online at:


We hope you are able to attend and participate in this important workshop. Should you have any queries about the event or the project do not hesitate to contact: info@yourcitycentre.com



‘The vision is to create a vibrant, playful, liveable City Centre’

Glasgow City Council have appointed a team led by MVRDV and Austin-Smith:Lord, supported by Space Syntax and a multidisciplinary team, to develop with stakeholders and local communities, Regeneration Frameworks focusing on four districts within the City Centre:  Broomielaw, Blythswood, St Enoch and Central.

To inscribe local knowledge at the heart of the process right from the start, there are currently a whole series of engagement events to listen to, learn from and engage with local people, agencies and stakeholders. As part of this process, a team from art organisation WAVEparticle, who specialise in creative community engagement, were out and about on the streets of Glasgow, inviting people to share their ideas to help shape the future plans for the city centre.

Before embarking in conversations within the city centre, the team started by visiting four neighbourhoods outwith central Glasgow. These ‘satellite’ engagement events were deliberately located north, south, east and west of central Glasgow specifically to gauge why Glaswegians use (or don’t use) their city centre.  These on-street engagements took place over Friday 26th and Saturday 27th August, when the team, including Lead Artist Peter McCaughey, artists Lauren Coleman, Lauren Bishopp and Zöe Hyatt, and filmmaker Basharat Khan, set-up a gazebo at Byres Road, Possilpark, Pollokshaws Road and Auchlinea Park.

With the aid of a large vinyl floormap of Glasgow, an interactive online survey and a Postcard From The Future, (which invites people to imagine Glasgow in 10 years time, and the changes they’d like to see in the city), the WAVEparticle team engaged passers-by in conversation, asking them to think about their city centre – what’s good about it, what needs to be improved / changed, and what would make them use their city centre more often.

The response from the public was terrific and we are grateful for the honesty and enthusiasm from everyone we met, including the children we met outside The Possilpark Health and Care Centre on Saracen Street, who took to the big map with felt-tip pens because they felt the city centre needed a bit more colour.

These 4 short films are a reflection of what people said, giving a real insight into people’s views and opinions about the city they live in. Thank you to all who contributed in any way and for sharing their ideas for the future of (Y)our City Centre.

For further information please visit: http://www.yourcitycentre.com

@YourCityCentre   #yourcitycentre   #yourideas



The full and summary versions of the approved Sauchiehall and Garnethill Regeneration Framework are now available to download from the links at the bend of this news post.

The Sauchiehall and Garnethill District is the first of nine districts to see an area Regeneration Framework developed as part of the City Centre Strategy 2014-19.  This final report is the approved Regeneration Framework and action plan for the Sauchiehall and Garnethill District. It has built upon the consultative draft, incorporated the key findings from the public consultation, and includes a deliverable action plan. It is acknowledged that in a time of such financial constraints in the public sector, not all aspirations of the Regeneration Framework may be achieved. Nor will delivery of the Framework solely be the responsibility of the local authority.

This Framework drew on a significant amount of new research and analysis on the experiential nature of the city centre to better understand how people use the area, and why experiences can differ significantly across the area and throughout day and night. The development period involved an extensive process of stakeholder engagement, data-gathering, surveys and various other methods of assessment that collectively produced an evidence base from which different potential regeneration initiatives have emerged. The outcomes of this work were consolidated into a draft Regeneration Framework which has been clearly endorsed through the public consultation. The chief findings of that process are summarised in the Consultation Statement on page 14 of the Summary document. This final report has therefore broadly retained the draft recommendations and the same structure of the draft report.

Overall the Framework confirms that the district of Sauchiehall and Garnethill contains a plethora of opportunities: a diverse and mixed population, thriving arts and cultural organisations, a vibrant night-time economy – particularly on Sauchiehall Street, a retail destination, good public transport links, and many buildings of historical significance.

The following documents can be downloaded from the following links:

Full Sauchiehall and Garnethill Regeneration Framework April 2016 Full Document [6MB PDF]
Sauchiehall and Garnethill Regeneration Framework April 2016 Summary Document [4MB PDF]



The next phase of Glasgow’s City Centre Strategy was formally launched on Monday 29 August by Cllr Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council.

The (Y)our City Centre project will develop plans and ideas for Blythswood, Broomielaw, Central and St Enoch by understanding what works well and what should change to make these city centre districts even better. A team, led by internationally renowned architects MVRDV working with local consultants including Glasgow-based designers Austin-Smith:Lord, will engage with those who live in, work in, study in and visit these areas to come up with proposals to make Glasgow city centre an even more attractive place.

Watch a video of the Launch event with key speakers including the Leader of the Council and Winy Mass, Co-founder of MVRDV.

The (Y)our City Centre team are keen to hear your views. Sign up for regular updates below and share (Y)our Ideas to improve Glasgow city centre via the website, social media and at forthcoming events.