Digital technologies are present in all areas of life. New products, services and solutions enable constant progress in all domains, from cutting edge space exploration, engineering and research to health, education and arts. These technologies also increasingly enable innovation and support growth in traditional industries, agriculture and farming.
A smart city is defined as one that “continuously strives to improve social, economic and environmental sustainability outcomes. It responds to challenges like climate change, rapid population growth and political and economic instability by engaging with society, applying collaborative leadership methods, working across disciplines and city systems, and using data information and modern technologies” (working definition in ).
This strategy is not about technology but rather about ensuring that Smart Limerick enables a better response to economic, social and physical environment needs through the use of technology. The Digital Strategy takes a comprehensive approach to economic, social and physical environment needs and challenges spanning across six Smart Limerick domains.
These domains represent the areas in which innovative solutions, ICT enabled and digital services are expected to have a positive impact on the city’s social, economic, and environmental sustainability. More specifically, these are designed to represent a city taxonomy; namely:
- Economy & Innovation: facilitating human capital towards knowledge economy, commerce vitality, entrepreneurship, employment, and flexibility.
- Community & Citizenship: improving social capital towards individual and community well-being, participation, inclusion, health and safety, and other Government services.
- Culture & Entertainment: promoting cultural heritage, involvement and accessibility.
- Movement & Transport: managing transport systems and services for accessible and sustainable travel behaviour choices.
- Urban Places & Spaces: managing vitality and viability of open spaces, residential and commercial buildings towards a coherent urban structure.
- Environmental Practices: managing environmental and biodiversity impact, energy, water, waste, and other utilities.
Smart Limerick Challenges
These challenges have been identified in multiple documents, policies and strategies for Limerick.
The challenges are not unique to Limerick. They have also been identified in other cities in the World Economic Forum report “Inspiring Future Cities & Urban Services Shaping the Future of Urban Development & Services Initiative” . Increasing the ability of Limerick City, County and Region to deal with these challenges will result in an increase of the competitiveness in the international race between cities and regions to attract investment, financial, social and human capital.