Scottish Policy Now magazine features Ed Craig on 'SMART ACCELERATOR'
18 January 2014
SMART ACCELERATOR: ACCELERATING ACTION TO CREATE SMARTER CITIES AND REGIONS
By Ed Craig, Head of Enterprise & Innovation, ECCI
“Smart Cities” is one of those terms that is often spoken about and regularly aspired to, but rarely achieved. Whilst we have seen a revolution in information and communication technology over the last 30 years, the practicalities of applying this technology to improve outcomes of complex, overlapping social issues, such as energy and resource use and mobility, have proved much more difficult. This often reflects the challenge of bringing together multiple public and private sector stakeholders, with different agendas and different timescales, around a common challenge.
In Scotland there are numerous existing, planned but stalled, or potential projects that can be defined as ‘smart city region’ or ‘smart island’ initiatives. Terminology aside, it is considered a priority area for development agencies. Significant public and private funding is available to develop and implement well-constructed projects. Research evidence points to the fact that cities are the key engines for economic growth, both for cities and their local regions. And many cities have significant opportunities to improve their economic, social and environmental performance to the betterment of its citizens.