Dublin in the Future

Within the next 25-30 years it is proposed that Dublin will have an established international reputation as one of the most sustainable, dynamic and resourceful city regions in Europe. Dublin, through the shared vision of it citizens and civic leaders, will be a beautiful, compact city, with a distinct character and vibrant culture, and a diverse, smart, green innovation based economy. It will be a socially inclusive city of urban neighbourhoods, all connected by an exemplary public transport, cycling and walking system and interwoven with a quality biodiverse green space network. In short, the vision is for a capital city where people will seek to live, work and experience as a matter of choice. Advancements in technology are expected to contribute significantly to this vision. One of the key ways in which this is expected to be achieved is through collaborative efforts between smart technology providers, researchers and citizens to solve challenges and improve city life. For instance, Smart Dublin (a collaboration between the four Dublin local authorities) aims to position Dublin as a world leader in the development of new urban infrastructure and solutions, using open data. Specifically, Smart Dublin aims to:

  • Develop, drive and facilitate public services which are better, easier, more efficient and accessible for a growing population.
  • Promote innovative ideas to provide new, innovative and better solutions to existing and future social, economic and environmental challenges which impact citizens, businesses and visitors.
  • Improve economic activity to support regional economic development by helping to create an ecosystem that attracts and provides opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors and businesses, and communicates this to the wider world.
  • Increase collaboration and engagement to create effective internal and external collaborations and partnerships with local authorities, other public sector organisations, academia, external agencies, businesses, citizens and international partners.

Current examples of Smart Dublin Technologies

  • Dublin Traffic Management and Incident Centre
    • Powered by about 300 CCTV cameras located across the city, the M50 and in neighbouring local authorities, this traffic management system uses sensors at traffic intersections to detect how many vehicles are in each lane, as well as the numbers of pedestrians.
    • Traffic lights can then be adjusted dynamically to respond to congestion. In the event of road traffic incidents, they can manually override automatic traffic lights to intervene and alleviate congestion.
    • The data generated is being used to develop and deploy new technologies to further automate and detect anomalies and black spots in the roads network.
  • Smart bins
    • Traditional public litter bins have been known to fill and overflow quickly. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council was looking to improve the efficiency of its public waste collection service, and at the same time reduce operational costs. Through the introduction of Smart Bins, it has successfully achieved this and more. Smart Bins are solar powered, wifi enabled bins that are being installed in towns, villages and residential areas across the country to replace traditional public litter bins.
    • Smart Bins come with a built-in solar compactor which gets triggered when rubbish reaches a certain level. Rubbish is compacted, which enables it to reach 800 litres of waste: 6-8 times that of a traditional bin. The wifi-enabled bin is able to communicate when the waste reaches 85% capacity. The bin sends a text and email to the relevant waste management division informing them that it is ready for emptying. There are currently 401 Smart Bins installed in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County area.
  • Public Building Energy Monitoring
    • In 2012, smart meters were installed in Dublin City Council's (DCC) Wood Quay building to give energy usage updates every 15 minutes including where and how energy is being used. The system can also be used to remotely control the heating systems and to set timers for subsystems like ventilation of car parks. The information allows the Energy Manager to monitor and adjust heating and cooling systems in real-time. Results in 2016 show a decrease of 25% in electricity consumption since 2012. In terms of gas, DCC used 19% less gas in 2017 as compared to 2012. Smart monitoring systems like this one would achieve little if they weren’t part of a bigger plan to cut carbon emissions and save on energy bills.

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