Infrastructure for smart growth

Our long-term plans to invest in infrastructure for smart growth will help create a city which encourages growth and innovation; protects the environment and promotes social cohesion.

To achieve this we will specifically require:

  • investment in transport connectivity
  • investment in digital connectivity
  • a smart growth prospectus to promote the guiding principles to deliver the development we want.

Transport connections

Cross-Tay link road

The cross-Tay link road is a key element of the Perth Transport Futures project. The new road is a strategic priority for the wider city region and is central to many of our aspirations for Perth. The new bridge will open up opportunities for development to the north and east, and remove non-essential through traffic from the city centre. It is therefore a vital enabling investment both for our growth plans and our aspirations for a lively, pedestrian-friendly city centre with an improved air quality.

Action

  • The design of the cross-Tay link road and other major roads must be integrated into the urban fabric; junction improvements make it easier for visitors, pedestrians, cyclists and local traffic to access the city

Public transport

The Scottish Government has announced plans to upgrade rail services from Glasgow to Aberdeen via Perth, but the service to Edinburgh is still inadequate, with older rolling stock and speed restrictions due to single-track working. The new Edinburgh Gateway station, due to open in 2016, will be served by this line, with connections to tram services to Edinburgh airport.

Actions

  • The Council and other public and private sector partners must lobby for better trains, shorter journey times and more frequent services and support investment in track upgrades on the Bridge of Earn - Ladybank section
  • Public transport usage is promoted as part of the design of new neighbourhoods, new and improved park and ride facilities, and bus priority corridors

Other transport connection actions

Actions

  • The principal approach roads need to be improved, creating mixed priority routes as attractive gateways, designed to keep traffic moving at moderate speeds, and improving the provision for public transport, walking and cycling through traffic management and potential modifications to road layouts
  • The existing network of walking and cycling routes are improved

Digital connections and services

Perth & Kinross Council, with the support of the UK Government's Urban Broadband Fund, is on track to make Perth a Super-Connected City, making it one of the best digitally connected cities in Scotland the UK.

Perth's digital infrastructure will soon provide access to ultrafast broadband (at least 80mbps) to all premises. The Business Broadband Voucher Scheme provides funding for small and medium sized firms (SMEs) to cover the cost of connecting to ultrafast services.

This provides the basis for a range of other smart city services that could include: the provision of Open Data; enhanced urban traffic management systems and car parking; LED and intelligent street lighting; smart waste systems and smarter use of energy through the development of smart grids.

Actions

  • A network of public hotspots in public buildings and spaces that will offer free access to residents and visitors complementing existing commercial hotspots.
  • Perth & Kinross Council will work with mobile operators to improve 3G and 4G mobile wireless coverage.
  • Digital providers are encouraged to develop products that promote services and attractions within the city to provide information and increase virtual access for residents and visitors.
  • A Smart Perth and Kinross Strategy that will provide a roadmap for how technology can be deployed to make the city smarter and more sustainable.

Smart City Prospectus - promoting city-wide smart design

We need to strike a balance between enabling growth and caring for the city and its environment. The population of Perth is expected to increase by about 25% in the next 20 years.

Catering for this increase in population will require an estimated 7,000 new homes in Perth by 2035. This demand will be catered for by a combination of repopulating the city centre, developing brownfield sites in the urban area and creating new neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the city. Our goal is to create lively, mixed-use communities including employment locations, integrated public transport, shops, schools and social infrastructure. Therefore we will set out clear guidance for developers to sit alongside statutory planning documents, setting out guiding principles for development across the city.

Actions

  • Promotes a high-quality environmental design for new development.
  • Promotes connections between developments and the wider region, improves access to employment, amenities and services, encourages public transport usage and walking and cycling routes and landscaping.
  • Promotes the provision of digital platforms and infrastructure and use of digital technology to make the city smarter.