The vision is to enable cities to become more liveable and resilient through the use of data and new technology. This will aid and facilitate delivery of city priorities through improved community engagement, integration of service delivery and innovation that smart city approaches can provide.

Working in partnership

UrbanTide led the consortium that included experts from across the UK and the international data landscape including Swirrl, 21C Consultancy and the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh. We worked in partnership with Scotland’s 7 cities (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth and Stirling). 

We set out to co-ordinate one application for strategic intervention funding from the European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020. We supported the 7 cities to accurately capture the data and technology ambitions of each city.

The themes of data and technology are the core elements of this ‘8th City’ Strategic Intervention. Data and technology are viewed as the key enablers for delivering smart city operations, which are to be developed by the 7 Scottish cities.

The final application detailed the ambitions of the Scottish Government, Scottish Cities Alliance and the 7 cities to build a data and technology ecosystem across Scotland by working collaboratively across all 7 cities.

The application ensured alignment with external policies such as the Scottish Government’s Open Data Strategy and the Open and Agile Smart Cities Network (OASC).


Identification of User Requirements

UrbanTide previously delivered a project that undertook a Smart Cities Self-Assessment to prepare a Smart Cities Outline Investment Roadmap for all 7 cities. Data and technology were two key areas already identified as requiring investment to support the ambition for a smarter Scotland.

The first part of this project involved meeting with individual representatives of each city to further develop their existing data and technology project proposals and to identify any further relevant user requirements.

Coordination of Data & Technology Project Proposals

The second part of this project required reviewing the data and technology project proposals from the individual 7 cities. We determined synergies that aligned across the proposals and joined them with existing strategies and policies.

The following 4 key areas were specifically identified for co-ordinated development:

  • Data publishing platform

  • Data standards

  • Data analytics & visualisations

  • Data community & capacity building


Strategic Intervention Application Form

The final output of this project was to complete the Strategic Intervention Application Form for European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020. This was submitted to the Scottish Government by Glasgow City Council on behalf of Scotland’s 7 cities.

The application for strategic intervention funding from the European Structural and Investment Funds was worth £24 million, with the single operation application unlocking £1.9 million of external funding that will deliver a co-ordinated approach to smart cities data management.

The funding would allow the cities to coordinate data and technology ambitions:

  • Increase transparency;

  • Deliver new insight into how the city and local communities work, which can be used to re-design services provided in the city, shape policy decisions and improve planning and regeneration;

  • Improve partnerships;

  • Improve engagement between service providers in the city and communities; and,

  • Stimulate innovation to create economic growth in the city.