ICE Northern Ireland creates vision for smart cities

The “How Smart is Your City?” event, which was part of the NI Science Festival, examined how cities can utilise emerging technologies.

ICE NI Regional Director Richard Kirk addresses the audience and panellists at the MAC.
ICE NI Regional Director Richard Kirk addresses the audience and panellists at the MAC.

On 23 February, ICE Northern Ireland hosted "How Smart is Your City?" at the MAC in Belfast and via livestream. The event, which examined how cities can utilise emerging technologies, was part of the Northern Ireland Science Festival and attracted more than 100 attendees and online viewers from the UK and abroad.

David Gavaghan FICE hosted the panel, which also included Dr Mary Keeling of IBM, Ben Smith of AECOM and Deborah Colville of Belfast City Council. The panellists discussed smart city technologies already applied elsewhere, such as the Netherlands' flood management systems, as well as future developments that Northern Ireland could utilise in the next 5-10 years.

Audience members posed questions ranging from the usefulness of "smart city" branding, to the return on investment of certain technologies, to the priorities for Belfast in the coming decade.

View photos from the event on Flickr

"The event was a fantastic way to identify the challenges and opportunities facing Belfast and our other Northern Ireland cities," said Richard Kirk, Regional Director of ICE NI. "It also highlighted the intersection of physical and digital infrastructure, and how civil engineers will have to work with IT in order to build cities fit for the future."

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