How smart is your city? Belfast

23 February, 2016 | 18:00 - 20:00

How smart is your city? Belfast

About this event

What does your perfect city look like?

Cities are all about people. We give cities their pulse – we live and work in them, explore and develop them. It's no wonder that half the world lives in cities. In the UK, 90% of the population is expected to live in cities by 2050. With this rapid urbanisation, how can we ensure that our cities become better places to live and work?

How smart is your city? will look at how science and engineering are being used to improve our homes, workplaces, communications, water supply, energy, public transport and amenities. This exciting event will give you the opportunity to hear from experts and put your questions to them.

Follow the conversation at #iwantacity

In association with:

Belfast City Council


Host – David Gavaghan

David Gavaghan
David Gavaghan

David has established Aurora Prime Real Estate Limited to focus on a new dawn emerging in Belfast and is seeking to raise £50m locally and internationally to invest in Grade A office space in Belfast. He believes that the ingredients are in place for a transformation in Northern Ireland's capital city returning it in a modern day context to what it was a century ago – a hive of industry, creativity and wealth formation.

Until April 2015, he was Chief Executive of Titanic Quarter Limited - a strategic site that has the potential to become one of the most exciting developments across the islands of Ireland and Britain.

David is currently Chair of Visit Belfast and Sports Changes Life as well as the environmental arm of Business in the Community in NI, Arena Network. He is also Vice Chair of the Washington Ireland Program. He is both a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

David has a degree in Economics and Social Studies from Trinity College Dublin having had his secondary education at Blackrock College, Co Dublin.

Ben Smith BSc (Hons), CEnv, MIEMA
Director of Sustainable Development, Design, Planning and Economics (EMIA)

Ben Smith
Ben Smith

Ben has 15 years’ experience of managing and directing research and consultancy commissions promoting sustainable development in the UK and abroad. He has specific experience relating to urban planning and development, and is comfortable working at a range of spatial scales. Ben has worked with over 40 local governments and regions (including Cities) in Europe and Australia to develop action plans aimed at reducing emissions, encouraging renewable energy and promoting climate change adaptation and resilience. He has also supported the development of evidence based planning policy, led advocacy work, delivered training and prepared guidance for business and government clients in the areas of sustainable and low carbon development. AECOM’s regional lead for a number of the City programmes that AECOM supports. This includes our support of the Carbon Disclosure Project Cities Programme, our work for UNISDR (with IBM) as part of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign and our ongoing work for Cities under the 100RC programme pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Ben is also actively engaged in discussions of the Medellin Collaboration on Urban Resilience (MCUR) and has recently presented on City resilience at CityAge in London and at the Moscow Urban Forum.

Dr. Mary Keeling,
Manager Economic Analysis, IBM Smarter Cities

Dr. Mary Keeling
Dr. Mary Keeling

Mary is part of the Senior Leadership Team and Manager, Economic Analysis for IBM’s Smarter Cities business globally. She is responsible for leading economic analysis for IBM’s Smarter Cities solutions in education, transport, water, buildings, public safety, and other areas critical for driving growth in cities and regions. She works with public and private sector clients globally to help them drive improvements in productivity, efficiency, and quality of city services. Mary joined IBM in 2007 after spending over a decade as a lecturer in economics at the University of Limerick, and at Trinity College Dublin.

Deborah Colville MSc
Digital Solutions Portfolio Manager at Belfast City Council

Deborah Colville MSc
Deborah Colville MSc

Deborah has over 30 year’s experience in local government, working mainly with Belfast City Council. She has extensive experience managing the support and implementation of ICT systems across all council departments within BCC.

As a member of the senior management team she is responsible for the development of the digital strategy for the Council as well as bringing about digital transformation through the use of ICT and cutting edge technologies to ensure value for money and to deliver quality citizen services. Deborah also oversees the provision of a wide range of software services to other Councils and Public Bodies with specific experience in business change management, contract and supplier management.

She is currently leading on the development of a Smarter City Framework to support collaborative working with local universities, public and private sectors across the city to deliver solutions that support the vision and aspirations identified in the new Belfast Agenda. Deborah has recently become a member of the BSI Cities Institute Board which develops Standards to support the UKs Smart City approach.