The interim City Observatory, based in The Lighthouse in Glasgow, highlights how city data can help citizens, governments and business to understand urban centres, and plan and deliver better cities for the future. Visitors can explore interactive maps of Glasgow and other cities across the world, showing information about demographics, health and the economy.

The City Observatory is one element of the Technology Strategy Board’s £24 million Future City Glasgow programme. The city won the funding last year in competition with 29 other cities across the UK.

Visitors to the installation can also view interactive displays, set against the backdrop of Glasgow’s cityscape, seen from the viewing platform. The maps highlight stories about the world’s mega-cities, from the 1950s to the present day, encouraging people to think about how and why urban areas have changed over time, as well as how they will look in future.

The installation has been designed as a ‘taster’ exhibit, showcasing the forthcoming City Observatory – part of the Institute for Future Cities – which will be based in the University of Strathclyde’s new Technology and Innovation Centre. The Institute will be a world-leading multi-disciplinary centre for innovative research and teaching that will develop new approaches for the way people live, work, learn and invest in cities.

Richard Bellingham, Director of the Institute for Future Cities at University of Strathclyde, said: “We hope visitors to our installation will gain new understanding and insights into Glasgow and other cities across the world. The location allows people to see the city and explore its data side-by-side.

“This interactive exhibition deals with issues that people care about – health, housing, and the environment – and shows them in fascinating new ways. With over half the global population living in cities, our vision is to improve the quality of human life in cities across the world.

“We want to make a tangible difference – creating solutions to tackle the major urban sustainability challenges; improve health in cities; and deliver high-quality city systems that we can depend on every day.”

Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Future City Glasgow, said: “These are exciting times in Glasgow – a raft of Future City innovations are set to be unveiled in coming months – from our intelligent street lighting to our Glasgow dashboard and our new city cycling app. Glasgow is already benefiting from a new state-of-the-art city operations centre, 400 new high definition CCTV cameras are going in and advanced analytics are on the way.

“Communities are using their local knowledge to map their neighbourhoods and children as young as eight are being taught to write computer code. More than 350 data sets are also available on the openglasgow site.

“Better use and sharing of Open Data will create huge opportunities. The University of Strathclyde is a leading international technological university and the City Observatory promises to be a valuable asset which will foster creativity and inspire invention. Tonight’s event is a small taster of what is to come.”

Working in partnership with cities, business, research institutions and government across the world, the Institute for Future Cities is creating a focus and strategy to coordinate ground-breaking research on urban themes. It will tackle large, complex and difficult issues and opportunities for cities across the world and help people understand them in new ways.

The Institute for Future Cities is also delivering a range of other initiatives, including a predictive crime project and the €3.7 million STEP UP Strathclyde-led European research programme on sustainable city planning and implementation, where Glasgow is working with the cities of Gothenburg, Riga and Ghent to deliver major carbon emission reductions, as well as tackling social and economic issues.



Read the original article at University of Strathclyde: ‘City Observatory shows visions of the future’.

The Institute for Future Cities at University of Strathclyde

STEP UP project