SMART (Search engine for MultimediA Environment geneRated content) aims to implement a system allowing internet users to search and analyse sound and video data from cameras and microphones.
Search queries are then matched with information from these sensors and cross-referenced with data from social networks to provide "intelligent" results.
For instance, users will receive detailed answers to questions such as 'What part of the city hosts live music events which my friends have been to recently?' or 'How busy is the city centre?'
Dr Iadh Ounis, of the University of Glasgow's School of Computing Science, said: "The SMART project will be built upon an open-source search engine technology known as Terrier we have been developing at the University since 2004, and we're pleased to be involved in this innovative research initiative.
"The SMART engine will be able to answer high-level queries by automatically identifying cameras, microphones and other sensors that can contribute to the query, then synthesising results stemming from distributed sources in an intelligent way."
He added: "SMART builds upon the existing concept of 'smart cities', physical spaces which are covered in an array of intelligent sensors which communicate with each other and can be searched for information.
"The search results sourced from these smart cities can be reused across multiple applications, making the system more effective."
The SMART project, a European-funded initiative with nine institutions and companies taking part, is scheduled to be tested in a real city by 2014.