Smart cities “must serve needs of human beings,” says Deputy Lord Mayor

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13 June 2014 | 0

The application of technology to city planning and management is a welcome development but must put people and not systems first. That was the message delivered by Dublin Depty Lord Mayor Larry O’Toole at the closing ceremony of the Open Innovation 2.0 conference yesterday.

The international thought leadership conference Open Innovation 2.0 was held at the Dublin Convention Centre in Dublin for the second year, bringing together 300 decision makers and innovation experts.

Delivering the closing address, Deputy Lord Mayor O’Toole said: “Technology is great but only if it serves the needs of human beings. We have real and serious challenges in our cities and our world. We need to tackle isolation, homelessness, the creation of jobs, health and the environment. Innovation and innovators can find solutions that solve these challenges and improve lives… My message is simple, innovate with purpose. Innovate with values. Innovate for people.”

The sentiment was echoed by Mark Kleinman London Director of Economic Policy, who said projects like the Smart London Plan of the GLA aimed to “turn the smart city telescope towards the daily problems of citizens rather than on the technology.”

Kleinman criticised the “tendency to run after technological solutions without first establishing what citizens wanted or desired” and emphasised the need for cities, despite the limitations on state aid rules from Brussels, to “ensure faster and more reliable broadband that helped businesses to grow”.

Dublin’s Digital Masterplan was cited as a good example of a balanced approach to using technologies in cities. Kleinman suggested that increasingly cities needed to work together to find solutions to common problems.

Open Innovation 2.0 was organised in collaboration with the European Commission, Open Innovation and Strategy Policy Group, Intel Labs Europe and Dublin City Council.

TechCentral Reporters

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