DUBLIN (IReLAND),25 JULY, 2016- 12.00 CEST


Santiago Martín Caravaca interviews  Jamie Cudden (Smart City Manager, Dublin City Council @jcudden) and Zaira Rivera (Smart Dublin Regional Coordinator). Jamie leads the development and implementation of Dublin City Council’s Smart City strategy and ensures that the council takes advantage of the opportunity of technology innovation. Zaira works across the four Dublin local authorities to provide coordination of smart city projects.

Smart City Branding, Smart City Branding, Smart City Branding, Smart City Branding

jamie cudden_zaira rivera_smart dublin_smartcity brand

What is Smart Dublin?

Smart Dublin is an initiative of the four Dublin Local Authorities to engage with smart technology providers, researchers and citizens to solve city challenges and improve quality of life. Smart Dublin aims to identify regional challenges, to find opportunities for innovation and to call out for new solutions to those challenges.

Our objectives are:

  • To stimulate the economic competitiveness of the Dublin Region, through collaborations between private, public and academic partners.
  • To drive public sector efficiencies and improve services by using the Smart Dublin platform to call out for innovative solutions to regional challenges.
  • To  promote transparency and open government through the publication of local government data on the Dublinked open data portal in open, free and reusable formats

Smart Dublin is built on a collaboration model:

How did the project start?

Smart Cities Seminar - 22.06 (15)

The aim was to create a collaboration framework to ensure that the region takes advantage of some of the big technology trends that have already transformed how we live. For example, the rapid growth of smart phone penetration (now 75% in Ireland), digital savvy citizens, the emergence of internet of things (IOT), and the possibility of using big data to better manage our cities in real time.

The four Dublin local authorities were already participating in a range of smart city initiatives, however the Smart Dublin initiative led by the 4 Dublin Chief Executives now co-ordinates a regional approach and provides a central point of contact for smart city projects. The creation of a regional structure in 2016 meant that resources could be pooled and the impact of initiatives could increase greatly. The challenges mentioned before extend beyond the administrative boundaries of each local authority and collaboration was a logical step.

What’s Smart Dublin greatest strength as a Smart Region? What makes it unique?

‘We are big enough yet small enough to be the ideal location to pilot new city services and solutions’

DLR Luas at Dundrum

Dublin has an amazing ecosystem of world leading tech companies, a vibrant start up tech scene, Europe’s most innovative SME’s, a young highly skilled work force and world class research clusters. Nine out of ten of the worlds top tech companies have a presence in Dublin.  Smart Dublin also has the support of city and state agencies like Enterprise Ireland and IDA.

Smart Dublin is taking a challenge based approach to delivering on our Smart Dublin ambition.

dublinkedIn order to achieve this, we have engaged through design led workshops with operational staff across the four Local Authorities to identify priority challenges that they face, for example: better transport management, response to extreme weather and flooding events, improved energy efficiency and more efficient service delivery. The results of theses workshop will form the basis of our Smart Dublin work programme for the next 2 years.

Imagine Maria and Giovanni (Linkedin Professionals) are in Dublin on a business trip three days. How can they benefit from Smart city Dublin?

Before they arrive they should visit  a new web site that celebrates the very essence of Dublin; the people, places and things that make it truly unique as a place to live, work and learn in.

Let’s say that they want to cycle around Dublin. They could hop on a Coca-Cola Zero Dublin Bike one of the most successful bike rental schemes in the world. There are 1,500 bikes available at 101 stations around the city. If they prefer to drive they can book a city wide car pooling GO Car  and use our pay zone smart parking app.

zero dublin

If they wanted to use public transport they could pick up a public transport payment card (LEAP) and check the Dublin Dashboard to find out real time travel information. The Traffic Management Centre keeps traffic moving across the city.

They might want to experience an Irish football (Gaelic) or hurling match in our 88,000 seater national stadium Croke Park (one of the largest stadiums in Europe). It is also one of the world’s first carbon neutral stadiums and now the test bed for a suite of cutting edge Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. 

Croke Park Infographic

They will probably be impressed with our clean streets a result of the deployment of  Smart bins (big belly compactors) which not only collect and compact with real time monitoring, but also collect environmental variables and count pedestrian numbers. If they venture out to North Dublin (Fingal county council) they could find out the latest happenings in the area with their Unfolding News Story App which was developed in partnership with ESRI.

Visit out Smart Stories page to find out about this and many other projects happening in the Dublin region!

What about citizen engagement? How do they participate in Smart Dublin?

The aim of our work is to improve life for all city/region users, so citizens are right at the centre of what we do. Delivering more responsive services is a key objective of and finding ways of using technology to empower communities and create a better engaged citizen will be one of the pillars our work programme.


Over the next two years we will launch a number of challenge based procurements and start up competitions to solve priority challenges that the city region face. We also encourage entrepreneurs and developers to submit ideas and proposals for smart projects and pilots through  Also, we will use our online panel Your Dublin Your Voice to consult with city users about our Smart Dublin priority themes over the next 2 years.

How do you connect with different stakeholders in order to build the project?

Our stakeholders are varied: staff, businesses, external companies and organizations, universities and researchers, citizens, etc.  We connect and talk to them in many different ways from simple talks, emails, workshops, regular meetings, conferences, social media…. It really depends on the stakeholder.

NC_DD_Grand Canal Theatre(2)

How is Smart Dublin crossing city silos?

Many local authorities and government departments face the problem of working across silos. Sometimes their sheer size makes it difficult to find out what is happening in other departments and collaborate, other times internal culture prevents it; however, that is changing.  It’s not going to happen overnight, however with increased awareness building and the support from the chief executives there is certainly an increased wish to communicate better and collaborate. We believe that this will have a positive impact not only in productivity and efficiency but also on staff morale.

By the very nature of the project we need to work not only across departments but also across local authorities. We are multidisciplinary team and most of us have been part of other multidisciplinary teams before, which is one of our main strengths. We all bring a different perspective to the project and are used to building relationships across departments and organizations.

We also have strong support from management in the region and enthusiastic colleagues across the region and other cities in Ireland who look forward to working with us.

What cities does Dublin cooperate with? 

We take city to city collaboration very seriously. Cities face similar challenges:  trying to deliver more with less; to better understand the opportunity to deploy  new technology solutions; to procure more innovative solutions; to understand the new business models; moving from pilots to scale up solutions, etc. . We need to work together to build better cities and as part of this we are involved in a number of EU projects under Horizon 2020 and Urbact where we share experiences.

We work with cities in the US, EU and Asia through organizations such as TM Forum, Open and Agile Connected Cities (OASC), The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), Connected City Advisory Board and the City Protocol Society.

Some cities that we have engaged with include Atlanta, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Manchester, San Jose, Glasgow and Eindhoven and the list is always growing. In the Irish context we have jointly established a Smart City National Forum.

What companies do you collaborate with to deliver projects?

Some examples of projects delivered through collaboration are:

  • SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research). This is joint initiative between Smart Dublin and Enterprise Ireland that seeks innovative and low cost solutions to increase the number of people cycling in Dublin.

  • Croke Park Smart Stadium. A partnership with Croke Park, Intel, DCU, Sun Devil Stadium and Arizona State University to deploy pilot IoT technologies, mostly involving fan experience and crowd behaviour. It’s a small enough space to trial smart city solutions but wide enough to get results that can be used to solve problems.

  • Flood Management. In the last 2 years Dublin has had 7 of the 20 highest tides since record begun. The key is to try to predict and manage them better with limited resources and for that we have partnered with Intel to deliver an experimental Internet of Things (IOT) flood This project won the Irish Accenture Digital Innovation of the year award 2016.

  • We are working with DCU Water Institute and Kingspan to develop low cost (10 times cheaper) smart sensor technology for water level monitoring. When river waters rise to a certain level, sensors send out a warning alert, via SMS, to a local business owner, farmer or householder in a vulnerable area.

  • Noise monitoring. Noise is measured throughout the city and the data is organised by decibels and visible online. The website is managed by Sonitus Systems, a provider of noise monitoring instrumentation to regulatory authorities.

Finally, what is -in 3 or 4 words- the Smart Dublin Mantra?

Open, Connected, Engaged


Thanks Jamie and Zaira for participating in Smart City Brand (@SmartCity_Brand)

For more information about Smart Dublin:

Twitter @SmartDublin