After a couple of amazing days in Dublin attending Tomorrow´s Smart City: A Nordic-Irish Perspective seminar, meeting up with Smart Dublin and Dublin City Council, it is clear that Ireland and Dublin have come a long way in their smart city work. On a national level, the All Ireland Smart Cities Forum provides a platform where ideas and challenges are shared as well as network driven by enthusiastic professionals that strive to make their respective communities better through smart city solutions.
Moreover, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme from Enterprise Ireland in cooperation with public institutions that desire to innovate, provides a strong funding source for a pre-commercial procurement process where complex challenges can be solved.
This has already proved a success for some of the issues faced in the Irish cities, such as Last Mile Delivery, Cycling, Flooding, Smart Mobility etc. where both start-ups and established companies have created scalable solutions co-designed with the problem owners from the city administration. The solutions have been piloted and implemented and multiple solutions have been exported to cities outside Ireland, ensuring local growth through innovation and intelligent use of open data.
Well, is everything perfect in Ireland? Of course not, but the Nordics and others can learn a lot from their governance structure and their operational strategy for implementing the smart city concept incrementally into the core of the city functions.
On another hand, can Ireland learn anything from Denmark and the Nordics? Yes, of course. Denmark and the Nordics have successfully tackled some of the issues that Ireland is facing today. These include water management, climate adaptation, synergy between architecture and technology as a more liveable solution towards tackling urban challenges.
The smart city journey is a bumpy ride. Sharing good practices across cities and countries is a necessity in order to ensure that we successfully transform our cities and communities into better and more liveable places and create growth at the same time. This is also why it is obvious that collaboration between Ireland and the Nordics will be beneficial for both.
Smart City Insights will ensure that the public sector in Denmark and Ireland will benefit from this match, so stay tuned for news in the near future. Special thanks to Jamie Cullen and Alan Murphy from Dublin, Dominic Byrne from Fingal County Council and Mihai Bilauca from Limerick City & County Council for your time and insights.