Two Innovative Toolsets:

Digital is an intrinsic part of the realisation of the Innovation Island and only through collaboration between citizens, business, research and academia and local government can the city arrive at its destination as a global Digital City.  This Masterplan is therefore as much a roadmap as it is a document with prescriptive actions.

Only through collaboration between citizens, business, research and academia and local government can the city arrive at its destination as a global Digital City.  That colloboration works along a roadmap of change and Innovation as represented below.

The steps along the way

  • Start out by establishing a vision for the digital city as a digital ecosystem and build this vision on a set of principles rooted in a common creed which puts the citizen first as part of that ecosystem.
  • Engender involvement from key stakeholders with a focus on facilitation and responsibility.
  • Benchmark, Plan and Act -Create an evidence based plan of action
  • Measure our progress: putting checks in place to ensure growth is targeted and following best practice (Digital Maturity Scorecard).
  • Stage interventions and adapt quickly – looking at the people, places, processes and other particulars that are growing the digital economy and digital city and try new things to make the city run better.  This is an enabling process.
  • Arrive at the Digital City


Figure 1 – Roadmap to Realising a Future Digital Dublin

Digital Maturity Scorecard

Dublin City Council, Intel Labs Europe, the Innovation Value Institute (IVI) and NUI Maynooth have collaborated to produce a Digital Maturity Scorecard (Figure ).  The scorecard is an analytical tool to measure Dublin’s level of digital maturity and to identify ways in which to continue to move digital efforts in the right direction..  The Scorecard is based on evidence of digital activity and the perception of city stakeholders.

It will allow benchmarking of the city region internationally.  It has been qualitiatively tested and will be further refined and calibrated over the next two years (2013 – 2015).  As part of this process, six layers of digital maturity (activity) were identified that the city must build on to achieve international and best practice standards and to become a truly Digital City:


The roadmap approach helps identify the strategic direction and specific actions which will  improve the performance of each of the six layers – putting in place policies and actions which enahance urban governance; the quality and pervasiveness of digital infrasturcture in the city; the open availability of data; delivering better services by government and business through the use of digital technology; enhancing digital skills and access; the impact of digital  (jobs, better virtual and physical connectivity, more engaged governance models, increased skills and use of technology) on the actual management and functioning of the city (Figure).


The roadmap allows the city to begin and plan the journey but is flexible and adaptable allowing detours and re-routing as new actions emerge and technology changes. Thus the identification of new actions will be possible at all times and it is intended that this will happen through research, funding possibilities, beta-projects, stakeholder contribution through the leadership forum and international collaboration. Actions pursued as part of the Digital Masterplan will relate to one or more of six digital city service domains which impact on quality of life in the city region:


Sub-domains have been identified within each of these domains and best practice under each sub-domain is being identified.   In doing this the Masterplan has created a resource which allows it to map best practice globally and to identify practical means to move up the maturity scale to more optimised services, cooperation and technologies.

It is essential to match technological solutions to the challenges of modern urban living.  These challenges include, job creation and retention, maintaining a globally competitive and attractive business environment, enhancing civic society, enhancing the potential of new creative and smart economy industries, addressing infrastructural and social problems, improving the quality of the environment and the physical and virtual connectivity of citizens and business.

The impact of the actions carried out under the Masterplan will be evaluated using the Digital Maturity Scorecard(DMS).   The DMS essentially looks at Dublin’s level of maturity on a scale of 1-5 (see Table 6) and involves examination of how the city is using technology enabled innovation for sustainable city living, economic growth and quality of life.  Best qualitative estimates currently place Dublin in a development stage across the 6 urban layers.  The goal is to transform the city and thus move up this scale.  The Scorecard will be refined and developed through practised application.

5. Optimising

(Transformative Digital City Platform)

Digital savvy pervasiveness & creativeness

Ubiquitous high-speed, secure & intelligent networks

Industry, Academia, Municipalities/Gov & Citizens sharing trusted data

Bottom-up entrepreneurship & open-innovation digital city services

Carbon negative city, autonomation of city operations, triple bottom line value

Shared governance across municipalities & citizens



(Proactive Digital City Platform)

Personalised & integrated digital access, digital skills  proficiency > 90%

Autonomous network QoS and QoE self-healing intelligence

Mega data-pattern processing, crowd-sourcing initiatives

Pockets of citizen prosumerism driving service innovation

Carbon neutral

City, predictive city operations management

Pervasive citizen participation, cross-department digital city management positions

3. Intermed-iate

(Progressive Digital City Platform)

Quadruple-helix  initiatives for integrated digital education & access

Near real-time network sense & respond management

City data platform, data mash-ups from diverse sources

Integrated city-wide digital services platform,

citizen feedback loops present

Managed use of city resources, informed city operations management

Centralised digital city vision, policies & resourcing



(Developing Digital City Platform)

Discrete digital skills & access initiatives

Varying levels of instrumentation, connectivity & field data capture

Data policies for regulatory, privacy, security & sharing, small scale data integration

Pockets of digital city services innovation, limited citizen engagement

Carbon-rich behaviours changing, partial monitor & control city operations

Decentralised city involvement, some cross-department collaboration


Ad Hoc

(Unmanaged Digital City Platform)

Limited expertise and access

Manual detection, response & recovery across network(s)

Proprietary, no data integration

Independent city service strategies

Unfettered city operations driving carbon-rich use

Little engagement, no interest in digital city

Table 1: Current Maturity Model Scorecard (This will be adapted and layer criteria applied to Beta2 Projects).   Table 

Figure 3 – Building the layers to realise the ambition of the digitally optimised city domains.

The Beta Project Mechanism

Applying the Beta Projects concept (Figure 9) to digital initiatives allows the Digital Leadership Forum to take a lean approach, to reduce the risk of wasting valuable resources and to move quickly to trial or adopt emerging ideas. It also engenders greater citizen participation.  The Masterplan seeks to identify dedicated resources to trial the best emerging ideas and actions across the digital realm. The Beta mechanism will establish what the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) features are to deploy any particular action for trial.

Digital ideas and actions will be identified by various stakeholders across the city -it is anticipated that they will come from strategic top down policy development, the digital leadership forum and bottom up from citizens and groups on the ground.  Actions will be ranked according to a set of transparent criteria.  Contributors can self assess and discuss the very system itself (as they can clearly see the weighting criteria).

The proposed actions will then be measured against the parameters of the Digital Maturity Scorecard to determine how many of the urban domains they could impact on and the digital layers they apply to.  In this way this internal process will determine how much of the genome of a concept is digital and through series of criteria if the project is capable of contributing to the city’s progress up the maturity scorecard.

In this way questions of how the proposed action can build up the identified digital layers or impact positively on urban challenges within identified digital domains will be addressed.  Other factors already used in the Dublin City Beta Projects (DCBP) include return on investment; scalability; how long it would take to build, measure and learn about the viability of the idea; how easy the concept is to sustain and maintain, social and environmental paybacks (Appendix 1 lists criteria for evaluation).

Depending on this rating a proposed action will be either sooner or later (or never if better ideas continue to come on stream) be selected for trial in a physical or virtual space in the city.  In the theory the lean process trial will iron out imperfections and the action will be placed in an inventory of actionable actions and potentially upscaled.

Prioritisation and Selection Process

Beta process - cropped  noted

Stage A: Issues and opportunities: Identification of an action or actions which could build on any of the 6 digital layers (see the DMS).   Participants will be asked to fill out a Google form and self assess their idea initially

Stage B: Baselining/Prioritisation: where is Dublin within a given layer(s) currently, how might the action impact on the layers, progress the digital maturity of the city and what and how many urban domains does the potential action impact upon.  This creates a baseline assessment.

Stages C-D: From creation of solutions to decisions on priority actions. Further prioritisation and filtering based on the digital principles and other factors- return on investment, scalability, impact, etc.

Stage E: Effect and Evolve

  • Placement of Action into a Kanban Table where a project will be
  • In waiting (after undergoing prioritisation)
  • In progress (top action will move into this space after another action has been built and validated)
  • Built
  • Validated ( or sent back for reiteration / pivoting)

Stage F: Formalise

  • Documented and placed in the inventory of actionable actions)
  • Accelerated and/or Upscaled

The process itself goes through this A-F process.  It is constantly reacting and evolving based on input, suggestions, observations,


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