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Government United Kingdom News Technology

Glasgow To Be UK's First 'Smart City' 98

Posted by timothy
from the but-edinburgh-is-the-athens-of-the-north dept.
CowboyRobot writes "Once the 'Second City' of the British Empire, scrappy Glasgow — whose now-demolished Gorbals was once known for urban grimness on a par with Chicago's South Side or New York's Hell's Kitchen — has the chance for a whole new lease on life as the UK's first 'smart city.' The UK's government has just announced a $38 million (£24 million) grant to fund pilot projects in the city that show how mass deployment of sensors and real-time information can help local government run more efficiently while also boosting the quality of life for its 600,000 citizens. Glasgow won the prize in a competition among 30 British towns and cities for state help in looking at the possible contribution of smart technology."
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Glasgow To Be UK's First 'Smart City'

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    They still believe electric lights are the devils work

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      They still believe electric lights are the devils work

      They like electric lights, they can rip them off and sell them for smack.

      I can't believe a government sponspored array of sensors is going to do anyone any good.

  • This is smart? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shavano (2541114) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @06:39PM (#42704145)

    "mass deployment of sensors and real-time information can help local government"

    Sounds as much like Big Brother as Smart City.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Arken's Law. All of three minutes.

      • by sco08y (615665)

        Arken's Law. All of three minutes.

        So your argument is "shut up." Thanks for sharing.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        I propose "Jane's Law":

        In any discussion of societal values, sooner or later someone will invoke Arken's Law or Godwin's Law, or both.

        Kind of puts things in a slightly different light, I think. People who call "stereotype!" can be stereotypes.

        (And yes, I realize that is recursive.)
        • by Minwee (522556)

          I propose "Jane's Law"

          I thought that name was already taken, and had something to do with somebody always mentioning the really nice hat.

    • Re:This is smart? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TapeCutter (624760) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @07:12PM (#42704359) Journal
      It has the potential to be either or somewhere in between, people who are certain they have fore-knowledge of the social consequences of this particular experiment are reveling more about themselves than the future.
    • Re:This is smart? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Yaa 101 (664725) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @07:49PM (#42704571) Journal

      Knowing the reputation of various UK administrations, it will be put to use to spy on people and fine them for small misdemeanors.

    • We went on a short self-guided car tour of Scotland this summer and were blown away at the number of cameras on the roadway. Many of the main roads had one or more speed camera covering all lanes of traffic every mile for tens of miles. I had no intention of doing any wrong, but all the 'invasion of privacy' bells were going off in my head.

      I never got feelings like the system was going to be abused in any type of near term scenario, but I couldn't help but think how easy it would be for a Stalin type leader

      • by Gordonjcp (186804)

        Many of the main roads had one or more speed camera covering all lanes of traffic every mile for tens of miles.

        Where was that? I can't think of *anywhere* that matches that description, unless you were driving through motorway roadworks which generally has a 40mph speed limit enforced with average speed cameras.

        There are a lot of average speed cameras on the A77 in Ayrshire, maybe there? Even then, it's not "a camera every mile", it's about six average speed cameras covering 30-odd miles of extremely dangerous road.

        • by BenJury (977929)

          There are two sections of the M1 between London and Leeds, when it is a 4 lane carriageway, where there are speed cameras on almost every sign gantry over the road.

          However right now it seems they are only 'on' when the variable speed limit is in force, but there is no reason they couldn't turn them on all the time.

        • by Threni (635302)

          >There are a lot of average speed cameras on the A77 in Ayrshire,

          To be fair, there are also a lot of really good ones...

      • by Alioth (221270)

        Many of the cameras are actually publically viewable. As a general aviation pilot, I find them quite useful in filling in the gaps between aviation weather reporting stations, the traffic cameras will show me at least what the cloud cover and visibility is like and if there's any precipitation.

      • by 1s44c (552956)

        We went on a short self-guided car tour of Scotland this summer and were blown away at the number of cameras on the roadway. Many of the main roads had one or more speed camera covering all lanes of traffic every mile for tens of miles. I had no intention of doing any wrong, but all the 'invasion of privacy' bells were going off in my head.

        Speed camera's are just there to collect money. If you are not speeding by 10mph+ they should not bother you. These now have to be bright orange and clearly visible following various local councils attempts to hide them behind signs and trees so they collect more money.

        Half of the other cameras are just traffic monitoring cameras, they are run by people who only really care about keeping the traffic moving along.

        The rest are run by the police who are vindictive abusers of terrorism law and really are out of

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          Speed camera's are just there to collect money.

          No, they're not. I've said it before here on Slashdot, but many UK councils have turned them off as a cost-cutting measure in the current climate of pseudo-austerity (i.e. austerity for the poor and not the rich).

          Speed cameras are there to catch people speeding. Since the locations of fixed speed cameras are (a) obvious if you pay attention and (b) publicly available on the web/through satnav devices you have to be very unlucky or stupid to get caught by one. Hand-held mobile devices are a different ma

          • by 1s44c (552956)

            Speed camera's are just there to collect money.

            No, they're not. I've said it before here on Slashdot, but many UK councils have turned them off as a cost-cutting measure in the current climate of pseudo-austerity (i.e. austerity for the poor and not the rich).

            They turned them off because central government took the profits. Central government also forced the councils to end their practice of hiding these things in places where they could not be seen and to make them bright orange so they are clearly visible.

            If speed cameras are not about making money then why do they impose fines for speeders? How about a system where speeders lose their license after getting caught a few times? Or a day of community service? Or send speeders to a driving awareness course? Or a

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        Many of the main roads had one or more speed camera covering all lanes of traffic every mile for tens of miles. I had no intention of doing any wrong, but all the 'invasion of privacy' bells were going off in my head.

        I think paranoid twits like you need to decide whether speed cameras are evil because they catch people who break the law by speeding on public highways, or whether they're evil because they COULD be used to catch people who break the law by doing something else illegal on public highways.

        You don't have privacy when you're driving on a public road.

  • Good news for "the grey place"
    • by Gordonjcp (186804)

      I would have thought that "the grey place" would be Aberdeen, the Granite City.

      Glasgow is known as "the Dear Green Place", and if you look at it on Google Earth you'll see why.

      • Re:Good news (Score:4, Informative)

        by History's Coming To (1059484) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @07:11PM (#42704355) Journal
        In Scots Gaelic, however, "glas" (ghlas) is grey, so yes, that works.
        • by Gordonjcp (186804)

          That works if Glasgow is a Gaelic name, but it isn't. There are very convoluted translations of "Glasgow" as "Grey Hill" or "Grey Field" but none of them actually make sense.

          I guess if you take the Glasgow Gael trendy-west-endie-hangs-around-in-the-Lismore dialect of Gaelic where if you don't find a word that suits you just make up a translation that fits your etymological theory, then you can get away with it. This part of the world was never Gaelic-speaking, and Gaelic only came here with the Highland D

          • I guess if you take the Glasgow Gael trendy-west-endie-hangs-around-in-the-Lismore dialect of Gaelic where if you don't find a word that suits you just make up a translation that fits your etymological theory, then you can get away with it. This part of the world was never Gaelic-speaking, and Gaelic only came here with the Highland Diaspora.

            Let's not forget the ones in Deoch an Dorus.

  • Integration (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kylegordon (159137) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @07:10PM (#42704345) Homepage

    And this is where integration with existing projects should come first, lest we end up reinventing the wheel. http://www.fixmystreet.com/ [fixmystreet.com] http://www.opentraintimes.com/ [opentraintimes.com] http://www.openstreetmap.org/ [openstreetmap.org] http://www.flightradar24.com/ [flightradar24.com] the 45MB/min MIDAS Gold DATEX traffic information service from http://www.tih.org.uk/ [tih.org.uk] - and many more. And by far not just travel related either, but lets not allow Glasgow to 'create' new apps and datasources that just replicate ideas and services that are already out there.

    I hope the administrators of this fund have a good long hard look through http://data.gov.uk/ [data.gov.uk] for inspiration and partners to work with, and that we as users and techs can help push them to make the right choices.

    I've already emailed a few relevant parties. Have you?

  • by TWX (665546) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @07:14PM (#42704371)
    Sure, as long as nothing's voice-activated...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sure, as long as nothing's voice-activated...

      Voice Recognition Elevator in Scotland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAz_UvnUeuU

  • For it's going roond and roond!

  • This is yet another example of politicians throwing money at technology to try and solve problems of policy and administration. It's a bit like buying a new TV to cure a broken leg. Nothing but a distraction.
    • by hughbar (579555)
      I so agree but for different reasons. I'm doing a little open-source based work in the area of water/air pollution sensors, mainly for the grid/big data bit. I've talked to some of the usual suspects in London [I'm London-based] including 'Digital Greenwich'.

      An example: http://living-planit.com/ [living-planit.com] is closed source, supported by big corporates who would probably like their noses in this particular government trough and also harvest the big data so that they can trade energy/carbon futures and help themselve
  • when it gets the Frankie Boyle seal of approval.
  • by giantgeek (1170007) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @10:10PM (#42705177)
    "Smart" is another overloaded buzz word that works well for marketing but is too vague to use to describe a city. Did you really mean to use more descriptive word such as efficient, effective, informative, or economical?
    • by volmtech (769154)
      How about all four plus some. Like a "smart" traffic light. Efficient, no stopping through traffic for a left turn if no one is turning. Economical, dozens of cars don't sit idle waiting for the light to change while no one is turning. For an entire city the savings could be substantial.
    • by Sockatume (732728)

      "Smart" as in "having its own self-contained computer" (as in smart watch, smart lighting, smart meter etc.), in this case with the epithet transferred from city infrastructure to the city itself.

      • To you "smart" means having a self-contained computer probably because you work with computers. To a mechanical engineer "smart" may mean it has pulleys and to a dietitian "smart" may mean it has high fiber. To an economist "smart" may mean a good investment.

        By your definition "smart watch" would be better stated as "computerized watch" because that phrase contains more facts.

        Using "smart" to describe something is really "dumb" because its too general. It diminishes the facts from being communicate
  • What, are the rest of the cities dumb?

  • Perhaps this Smart City technology can shed light on the Glasgow Effect:

    The Glasgow effect refers to the poor health and low life expectancy of Glaswegians compared to the rest of the UK and Europe. The hypothesis among epidemiologists is that poverty alone does not appear to account for the disparity.[1] Equally deprived areas of the UK such as Liverpool and Manchester have higher life expectancies, and the wealthiest ten percent of the Glasgow population have a lower life expectancy than the same group in

    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      All the good genes emigrated. What's left is the dross (hello from Sunny East Kilbride). It's really that simple.
  • Last time I was in Glasgow I got stopped for drinking on the street (it was a fair cop), as the coppers were leaving one of them said to me, "Just remember, yea cannae drink in the street, yea cannae piss in the street, and yea cannae shit in the street".
    You stay classy Glasgow ;)
  • At least they'll know if Wellington loses his hat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellington_Statue,_Glasgow [wikipedia.org]
    (Sometimes he has a bottle of whiskey in his arms too, so presumably they could monitor his alcohol intake too, and make sure he's not drunk in charge of a statue horse).

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984

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