Green economy forum to explore smart city opportunities

23 Mar 2012

Vienna City museum quarter at night. Image from Wikimedia Commons

Clean-tech and sustainability experts from Ireland, Madrid and Vienna will be sharing their insights on smarter cities at a conference in Dublin next week. They’ll also be looking at the green business opportunities that city councils and businesses can capitalise on to become leaner and more efficient.

How Green is our City: Green Business Opportunities for the Future will be held at the RDS next Wednesday morning as part of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s Energy Show.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event.

Speakers will include Mark Bennett from Dublin City Council; Eva Persy, from the City of Vienna and Juan Azcárate Luxán from Madrid City Council. Niall Brady from IBM’s Smarter Cities Technology Centre in Dublin will also be speaking at the forum.

Speaking this afternoon, Brady said he would be speaking about IBM’s recent smart building retrofit build experience and the challenges that exist when making buildings more intelligent.

He said he would be giving a practical talk about the technical, economic and cultural challenges that exist when trying to make buildings smarter. As for the cultural challenges, he said this would cover themes such as getting contractors and site managers to understand areas such as retrofitting buildings and complying with sustainability regulations.

Brady said he would also be talking about the technology overload that companies face when looking for smarter building solutions. Brady said he would be covering areas such as how companies and other entities need to be mindful of seeking out the correct fit-for-purpose technologies to suit their projects.

Mark Bennett, green business officer for Dublin City Council, said he would be touching on how Dublin City is harnessing initiatives, such as the Green IFSC, the Green Way and the Sustainable Energy Community.

The Vienna experience

As for the Vienna City, Persy, who is head of the Sustainable Development Unit, will be talking about the city’s sustainable public procurement experience.
Every year, the City of Vienna spends around €5bn for goods and services. Persy will be touching on how Vienna has been following ecological criteria when buying goods and services over the past decade.

It was 1998 when the Vienna City Administration launched its EcoBusinessPlan initiative.

According to Persy, since then, 817 enterprises have participated, implementing more than 11,000 environmental projects and actions.

Madrid and smart ICT

Azcárate Luxán, deputy general director of the Energy Agency at Madrid City Council, will be sharing how Madrid is facing environmental problems, such as air quality and pollution caused by traffic.

She will be covering the deployment of ICT and ‘smart’ solutions in areas such as public transport, street parking payment systems and electromobility development, plus the challenges of implementing such solutions.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic