Dublin city awarded IBM 'Smart City' grant

Tuesday 25 March 2014 22.20
IBM's Smart Cities programme is designed to analyse data to try to solve large problems in cities
IBM's Smart Cities programme is designed to analyse data to try to solve large problems in cities

Dublin City Council is one of 16 cities and regions around the world to be awarded an IBM grant worth $500,000, which aims to help it solve a problem using data analytics technology.

The IBM Smart Cities Challenge will see a team from the computer giant analyse a specified problem over a number of months, and then travel to Dublin on a pro-bono basis to try to solve that problem using technology.

Smart cities are urban areas where information and data about the operations and services in the city is gathered in real-time and then analysed to identify problems and solutions to ongoing issues.

Dublin City Council is already working with IBM on a smart city project analysing the use of transport within the city, which the council claims has already led to improved services for users.

Issues being tackled by IBM around the world under the Smart Cities Challenge range from clean water, healthy food, and revenue generation, to job development, efficient transportation, and public safety.

More than 500 cities and municipalities have entered for a place on the competitive challenge in the last three years, with 116 being selected for involvement.

Examples of past successful projects include Eindhoven in the Netherlands, which has reduced crime with strategies that include citizens' use of social media; and Edmonton in Canada which has improved road safety by analyzing accident data.

The announcement comes as a new research project, led by Professor Rob Kitchin of NUI Maynooth, gets underway, examining what kind of a "Smart City" Dublin might like to be.

The European Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland funded project will work with the local authority, business owners and the local community to work out how technology can be best used to improve the lives of Dubliners.

Launched this morning at NUI Maynooth, the Programmable City project will run for five years.