The Revised Programme for Government (October 2009) indicates that a SMART Town, with greater than 1000 homes, will be selected to trial SMART Energy Technology.
Louth Economic Forum can demonstrate how a major element of this is already underway through Dundalk 2020. In parallel to the actions outlined above there is an opportunity for Dundalk to establish its credentials as a SMART Town and one not confined to the energy element alone.
A SMART Town is a concept which requires a collaborative approach to intergrate low carbon technology solutions for energy, transport and buildings with behavioural changes. It challenges the existing approach to optimise resources and capacity in the community. Dundalk has challenged the existing approach and the Forum will advocate that Dundalk will be the prime candidate for selection of a SMART Town.
The local and national stakeholders in Dundalk and Louth have collaborated on the Dundalk 2020 Project and in partnership with SEAI, have developed a blueprint on how to develop sustainable energy systems for communities. The Dundalk blueprint requires an additional element and that is the integration of SMART ICT systems to connect all elements of the SMART Town.
A SMART Town however is not just about SMART Energy it also requires other SMART systems. All of these systems are in place in Dundalk.
- SMART HEALTH: Louth Age Friendly Alliance, Netwell Centre for Assisted Living, The Barrack Street Project – "The Great Northern Haven".
- SMART TRANSPORT: SMART Mobility, Dundalk is a finalist in the National Smarter Travel competition (see Go Dundalk)
- SMART WATER: National Centre for Freshwater Studies is located at DkIT, Louth Local Authorities are benchmark in water management practice.
- SMART WASTE: Winner of the IBAL award, Entente Floreale, V&W recycling, Louth Local Authorities recognised as bench mark.
Many towns and cities in Ireland offer themselves as platforms for the development of the SMART Green Economy, and this is to be commended. Dundalk is unique as it offers the integrated and collaborative approach that has demonstrated quantitative and qualitative results.