Dublin’s digital masterplan to develop the city as a centre of digital excellence will be unveiled in June 2013, the city’s Lord Mayor Mr Naoise Ó Muirí said today. He said the city can no longer wait for national Government action around a digital strategy for the country.
“Our future economic success, our ability to attract talent and investment and our competitive branding internationally mean we have to use and apply digital technologies now,” the Lord Mayor told a gathering of more than 50 leaders from tech companies, government agencies and universities at the Digital Dublin Leadership Forum in Dublin’s Mansion House.
“Put simply, this is about jobs and the quality of life in our city; we have begun to deliver public Wi-Fi in the city but we must and will do more,” the Lord Mayor said.
Ó Muirí said there are a plethora of varying initiatives around Ireland but there is no single plan to drive these initiatives in a cohesive way for the common economic good.
He said the digital masterplan would provide a common focus for these initiatives but also use international best practice and citizen opinion.
The idea, he said, is to push for major new initiatives that would create an “everywhere digitally connected and sustainable city, from home to workplace, from streetscape to public park and from healthcare to education.”
The masterplan will be modelled on similar digital development plans already in place in New York, Barcelona and London.
Ó Muirí said the masterplan will cover all aspects of economy and living and a starting point would be an evaluation of digital maturity in the Dublin region, which will be delivered by Intel and NUI Maynooth.
Ó Muirí said he met recently with the mayor of Barcelona at the Smart Cities World Congress.
“We have already committed that Dublin will play a leading role in the City Protocol Society, which links major leading world cities which are proving the value of digital technology in city life.
“I am determined that we would become one of the first partner cities to Barcelona to deliver on the global mobile agenda. Our international branding depends on being a digitally connected and sustainable city,” Ó Muirí said.
The Lord Mayor today began issuing digital challenges to companies or organisations to deliver an action that would improve lives and services using digital technology.
He challenged education organisations and companies to construct “digital adventure spaces” in public parks that would allow young people to interact and engage with the outdoors using interactive technology.
He challenged local government and national government to risk “citizen shapes”, an initiative that would allow citizens to redesign government websites.
Highlighting how public organisations and businesses can work together, he cited the example of Trinity College and Intel, which are working with his office to explore new approaches to citizen engagement.
Next February, Dublin will host the eighth World Forum of Cities Against Poverty and Ó Muirí said he is keen to see how digital technologies can be used to tackle the causes and consequences of poverty.
As well as inviting new ideas and apps for using the new public Wi-Fi zones in Dublin, Ó Muirí promised a D Dublin Day which would be used to promote citizen engagement with the digital masterplan.