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Dublin Docklands models smart districts

Attendees tackled the challenges of creating and scaling future smart districts worldwide for the shared benefit of citizens and business communities

CTOs convened at the Smart Docklands District in the Irish city of Dublin
CTOs convened at the Smart Docklands District in the Irish city of Dublin

One of the largest groups of city chief technology officers (CTOs) gathered at Dublin’s Smart Docklands District this week to discuss the development of smart districts using Dublin’s Docklands as an exemplar and a model for innovation.


The Smart Cities Innovation Accelerator event was convened by the Technology and Entrepreneurship Centre at Harvard.


The CTOs represented 23 cities from San Jose to Moscow and from Tel Aviv to Paris. Also participating were members of the City Digital Profile group from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and members of the City Protocol Society, a city to city global collaboration network.


The attendees came together to discuss the Dublin Principles which define the criteria for smart district status and enable cities to measure progress as smart districts emerge around the globe.


The CTOs tackled the challenges of creating and scaling future smart districts worldwide for the shared benefit of citizens and business communities. Key discussions included the high connectivity of future districts, Internet-of-Things sensor deployments and role of technology in delivering better outcomes for citizens.


The CTOs gathered in Grand Canal Square to view the latest in smart vehicle technology including Irish Police force (Gardai) smart cars and Microsoft’s flagship first responder connected jeep. This provided a unique opportunity for discussion about public safety and the use of technology to offer greater security and safety for citizens.


The Smart Docklands District, with its density of new builds, global tech companies, smart assets and range of connectivity options, provides a unique platform for SMEs and entrepreneurs to develop new and innovative solutions that will transform the way our cities operate.


This includes one of the world’s most connected buildings, Accenture’s The Dock, a testbed for low cost flood-monitoring Internet of Things sensors, the world’s largest pilot of connected and smart bike lights, See.Sense, as well as a range of new connectivity solutions that will drive cutting edge innovations across the district.


‘Smart Docklands showcases what can happen when a city district develops the level of connectivity and sensor density to make a significant jump in the quality of life for people living and working in the area,’ said chair Dr David S Ricketts, innovation fellow, Technology and Entrepreneurship Centre at Harvard. The gathering will be an annual event.


Owen Keegan, chief executive, Dublin City Council, said: "Dublin City Council is in a unique position to act as an ‘honest broker’ and bring together stakeholders who want to trial innovative new solutions to challenges faced by our cities in collaboration with technology companies, entrepreneurs and researchers on the ground."


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