Published on in Innovation

How do you prepare for the changing face of a millennium-old city, new policies, smarter technology, and a human-centric approach? These are just some of the questions we’re looking to answer with the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

As part of our Dublin 2050 partnership, we recently looked at smart cities, an area where Fujitsu has a wealth of insight and experience.

Japan – world leader in the development of the smart city

The Japanese approach uses information, energy, traffic and urban planning to create better urban environments that fundamentally serve their citizens.

With Tokyo and Kyoto both considered ‘mega-cities’, the smart city movement has been remarkably successful in Japan. All the pressures that make smarter cities essential are seen very clearly in this country.

The Fukushima disaster highlights the need for energy security, and Japan’s aging population means assisted living has become a fundamental part of the smart city concept.

When planning for the future, Tokyo’s growing population and the upcoming Tokyo Olympics mean it’s essential to invest in transport networks, link each mode and monitor how people use the system.

Developing a human-centric vision for smart cities

For us, the possibility of smart cities delivers an opportunity for our expertise to be applied to our urban environments.

The intersection of our physical world with the world of digital technology provides an even greater platform for this experience to be leveraged for improving the quality of life for citizens, improving the operating efficiency of the city itself and helping to grow the local economy using smart technologies.

By 2020, the number of connected devices in the world will exceed 50bn – producing and using ever-increasing amounts of data. However, we need to be careful that technology is not overwhelming or uneven; it needs to be empowering for it to solve the challenges we mentioned.

For it to be empowering it needs to be human-centric. Smart cities need to put people at the centre of planning and execution for when the physical world, the digital world and society as a whole interact. When this is done right, new value and services can be created and ultimately it could be used as a driver for positive social transformation.

The smart Dublin of the future   

In Ireland, with Dublin far exceeding any of Ireland’s other cities in terms of population density, the advantages of smart cities are clear. While Dublin’s size doesn’t begin to approach the scale of ‘mega cities’ such as Istanbul, New York, and Tokyo, Ireland is heavily reliant on the capital.

Investment in public transport connections and integrated ticketing solutions are positive developments as we move towards a smarter Dublin.

Smarter use of energy networks to encourage a greener and more efficient city, taking advantage of new technologies to safeguard networks and supply – it all provides a significant opportunity to develop a city that meets the needs of its citizens in future.

Find out more about Dublin 2050 at

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Tony O'Malley

Tony O’Malley is CEO of Fujitsu Ireland and Chairman of the Fujitsu Ireland Limited board. He is leading the delivery of Fujitsu’s innovative ICT services to the public and private sectors.

As CEO, Tony is committed to creating value for customers and putting into practice Fujitsu’s vision to create a Human Centric Intelligent Society.

He also oversees significant research programmes in Ireland in collaboration with Fujitsu Laboratories Japan, in particular addressing Data Analytics and Healthcare systems for assisted living.

Tony sits on the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Council and is a member of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics Advisory Committee.

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