Dublin Lord Mayor commits to Digital Masterplan for city by June 2013

Launching the Digital Dublin Leadership Forum in the Mansion House today Dublin’s Lord Mayor Naoise Ó Muirí pledged that the City would have a Digital Masterplan by June of 2013. The objective of the Masterplan will be to develop Dublin as a world centre of digital excellence. Over 50 leaders from major technological companies, government agencies and Universities met to direct and shape the digital future of Ireland’s capital at today’s Forum.

“Dublin cannot wait for National Government action”, declared the Lord Mayor, “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. 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 acknowledged that there were wide and varied initiatives by local government, higher education and business that were already happening across the City Region. From Big Data to energy conservation to citizen engagement Dublin was already proving its capacity to develop intelligent and smart solutions to urban challenges using technology. The Masterplan would provide a common focus for these initiatives but would also use international best practice and citizen opinion 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 Lord Mayor declared that while the coming months would allow for consultation on what shape the Masterplan should take, they would more importantly allow for actions that could demonstrate how digital technology can transform the city and the lives of its people. “Today I am issuing Digital Challenges which are invitations to companies, organisations and citizens to deliver an action that would improve lives and services using digital technologies. Already for example we are working with Trinity and Intel to explore new approaches to citizen engagement. We are hosting next February the 8th World Forum of Cities against Poverty and are inviting participation and examples of how digital technology can tackle here and in the developing world the causes and consequences of poverty. But today I am also throwing down digital action challenges.”

He challenged Education and Companies to construct “Digital Adventure spaces” in public parks that would allow young people to interact and engage with the outdoors and play while using interactive approaches.

He challenged Government locally and nationally to risk “citizen shapes” an initiative that would invite citizens themselves to redesign Government websites.

He invited everyone to come up with new ideas, apps or uses for using the Public Wi-Fi zones in the City.

He promised a D Dublin Day which would be used to promote citizen engagement with the Digital Masterplan.

The Masterplan would be modelled on similar digital development plans already in place in New York, Barcelona and London. The Lord Mayor discussed opportunities for co-operation internationally when he recently met 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,” stated the Lord Mayor.

The Masterplan will cover all aspects of economy and living. A starting point would be the evaluation of the current state of Digital Maturity within the Dublin City Region and prior to the launch of the Forum Intel and Maynooth committed to delivering the first report of Dublin’s Digital maturity.