‘Engaging the citizen and the collaborative city’

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A discussion about EU-funded Digital Cities Challenge programme has taken place during the 2nd Annual Conference of ‘All Ireland Smart Cities Forum’ in Dublin.
28 September 2018 - DEUDCC  project
All Ireland Smart Cities Forum organised the 2nd Annual Conference, on the 26th of September at Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, on the theme of 'Shaping Smart Cities and Regions: Real World Opportunities and Challenges'. 

Around 100 people from Ireland and Northern Ireland attended this one-day conference to share experiences, challenges and opportunities, highlight innovation and generate networks. Among other relevant speakers, Ms. Claire Davis, Smart Cities and Communities Coordinator at Cork City Council (Ireland), participated in the Forum and shared a reflection with the attendees: “less talking, more listening”. 

According to Ms. Davis, “traditional engagement is not sufficient”. Following up with this thought, Cork City Council has recently developed several consultation portals and a campaign of 15-weeks duration to actively engage with key stakeholders (traders and local communities, among others). A revamped website, accessible 24 hours 7 days a week, has given response to changing citizen demands. It has resulted in a success. “Citizens want to utilise the website to access services”, adds Ms. Davis. In this way, the council has been able to co-create solutions with different stakeholder groups and promote a shared message and a collaborative approach through press, radio, online and on social platforms.

Cork city is currently taking part in EU-funded Digital Cities Challenge programme and Ms. Davis highlighted their participation as a fellow city. She mentioned the collaborative digital transformation strategy they are following and summarized the work they have completed.

At the moment, Cork City Council is looking for new solutions to continue encouraging engagement with citizens.

About Digital Cities Challenge
European Commission has recently launched a tailored programme of coaching and facilitation to help 41 cities to develop and implement digital policies that can transform day to day life for residents, businesses, workers, and entrepreneurs. As European Commission highlights in their website, “Digital Cities Challenge kicked off in January 2018 and will run until June 2019. During this period, participating cities will receive the support needed to take full advantage of the fourth industrial revolution and become more productive, more innovative, better places to live”.

Along with Cork and another 18 fellow cities, Derry City and Strabane District Council in Northern Ireland (core ERNACT member) is also participating in the challenge. The council and ERNACT recently facilitated a successful interactive Digital Vision workshop. The high level of engagement from city stakeholders before and during the workshop has increased confidence that this programme will propel the city towards digital transformation.

Click here to email  Ianire Renobales at ERNACT for further information

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