Initially a new digital service called Insight Limerick will be developed which will provide citizens with a portal for information sharing and accessing data
The Irish city of Limerick is to become a national case study for a project to create the smart cities of the future.
Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre at Dublin University, is investing €500,000 in a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded research project designed to develop the IT and Enterprise architecture needed. It will work with Limerick City & County Council.
A new digital service called Insight Limerick will initially be developed which offers citizens a portal for information sharing, open data and data visualisation while analytics will be used to gain insights leading to better services.
Councillor Kieran O’Hanlon, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick said: “It’s a coup for Limerick to be selected for this important case study as it can be a valuable stepping stone on our vision to make Limerick a sustainable Smart City, region and community.
“Our goal is to make Limerick an increasingly attractive location for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) as well as indigenous investment which will boost jobs. At the same time, we want to make Limerick a positive experience for locals and visitors through better transportation solutions, reduced traffic, a cleaner environment and a safer community,” he added.
The Internet of Things will facilitate data capture from potentially thousands of sensors and devices from water, soil and air quality, traffic, cycling and pedestrian movement, parking event management and other sources. For the people, communities and businesses in Limerick to maximise the benefits derived from these new sources of information the data needs to be connected, shared, analysed and protected in a coherent and consistent way in order for new services to be developed and existing ones improved.
Dr. Mihai Bilauca, head of digital strategy Limerick City and County Council, said: “We aim to build Limerick’s reputation locally, nationally and internationally as a digital ecosystem where innovation and digital technologies empower our communities and create new opportunities for all in the knowledge economy. It is a new lens on the Limerick 2030 vision. This will involve the development of world-class digital services and infrastructure for a Smart Limerick and Smart Community.”
SFI funded Lero investigator, Dr Markus Helfert, director of the Business Informatics Group at Dublin City University, commented that there is a lot of talk about smart cities globally but one of the big challenges is to develop an IT and enterprise architecture which suits the needs of the entire city rather than focused on information silos.
“The IT architectural requirements for a city are fundamentally different and need to take account of a broader range of stakeholders and more complex functional requirements than in an enterprise situation. Working with Limerick we aim to design this framework on top of which exciting digital services can be placed.”
Elaborating on the scope of the research project Dr Helfert added: “The objective is to develop the Limerick Enterprise Architecture. Successful development of a Smart City requires a unified ICT infrastructure to allow sustainable economic growth. The unified ICT platform must be suitable to model, measure, optimise, control and monitor complex interdependent systems of urban life.”
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