What is a Smart City?

What exactly is a Smart City? What does it look like? How can you help design it?

These urgent questions - and many more besides - were discussed at the UCD Smart Cities & Communities Symposium on December 4th, 2019.  

With Ireland failing to curb greenhouse gas emissions below both national and EU targets - and with 40% of our C02 emissions coming from buildings - the pressure is on to make our cities more energy efficient. 

Featuring a panel of fifteen speakers from across industry, academia and government agencies, the Symposium shared ideas and insights around how to make our cities more sustainable. Award-winning ecologist Nadinè Galle (pictured) was interviewed by Simon Cocking of Irish Tech News ahead of the event.  

“Before we can implement the recommended energy-saving technologies in these buildings, we also need to engage with the people who will live and work in them,” explained organiser Dr Fabiano Pallonetto, Chair of UCD Sustainable Energy Community. “We can have the best energy system inside a building but that won’t matter if, for instance, people don’t know that opening a window could negate the advantages of that particular installation. We feel that citizens should be part of the Smart City and Communities solution and not just passive residents in our cities.”

The Symposium explored what companies, researchers and the EU are doing to address climate change and what supports are available for people who want to make their homes and offices more energy efficient.

Said Dr Pallonetto: “It is a complex, worldwide problem and we will look at it from different perspectives and assess the Irish strategy going forward.”

This Symposium was a collaboration between the UCD Sustainable Energy Community, the Energy Institute, Earth Institute, UCD Discovery and Integrated Environmental Solutions. Topics included Sustainable Energy Communities, Consumer and Prosumer Behaviour, Buildings, IoT, Data Analytics, Transport, Renewable Energies, Energy Generation and Management, Water Treatment and Recycling.