By Lye Ogunsanya
SEAPRK provides real-time availability information for accessible parking spaces to anyone who requires it, no more no less. A simple yet direct service that provides;
- Real time occupancy data for users.
- Data trends and compliance info for local government and businesses.
While our use case looks specifically at just one of the most pressing urban challenges faced by citizens with access need, we strive and hope that Seaprk Dublin serves as an inspiration and guidance for design, technology and real social impact on behalf of the communities we are serving. This short blog lifts the bonnet on the team thinking during the hackaccess concept to prototype competition.
Seaprk addresses the risks emerging from rapid growth of which Dublin is exceptionally guilty of, although this brings its economic and social benefits we as citizen technologists must ensure we apply innovation where possible as a vehicle of real support solutions for our fellow citizens with access needs. We must ensure our cities are being truly smart for all citizens not just in text and commentary but practically.
During the Hackacccess competition in Google, we clarified within the team that for us to be able to efficiently support citizens with access needs within the cityscape, we had to first truly define and understand what we mean by city. What challenges followed by opportunities could we explore to make this project a reality, as a team we discussed at great lengths that all cities generally share 4 common qualities:
- Services and Infrastructures (Roads, airports, theatres, public amenities)
- Population density (Dublin quite famous for this one art the moment)
- Built up environment which provides the foundation for innovation and upgrades
- Lively urban economy
We also understood that the surge in urban growth can certainly thwart cities from realising their promises to citizens particularly the vulnerable. The world not just Dublin is experiencing this intense surge, according to the world bank mored than half of the world’s global population resided in cities 2015. Over 66% of the worlds population is expected to be residing in cities 2050 (UN), china just announced a new city to be built. What if this new city could be built with an exceptional upgrade in the initial planning process? We can certainly assume that china has successfully piloted a bunch of innovations which perhaps can now be actively scaled by embedding in the building of this new city. Smart Dublin is taking a similar approach with multiple pilot projects in multiple testbeds.
We also discussed the pattern of rampant urbanisation which leaves cities with seriously uneven distribution of resources and or services. Therefore every solution designed for citizens with access needs must consider facilitating access to any citizen’s basic tiers of needs:
After many many many journey mappings, research within the EU/British context and needs assessment with our colleagues and visiting mentors on the day with access needs. We validated a technology of choice which seems future proof and has very limited design constraints in this context. Our technology of choice to execute this concept in Dublin was IOT.
Why? The IoT technology support landscape in Dublin is ripe for tapping into, especially at the proofing of concept stages thanks to Smart Dublin’s forward thinking approach in acting as a catalyst for the city at large. Smart Dublin has been successfully acting as a driver and connector for a step-change in coordinative transformation of Dublin’s smart city policies, facilitating a shift from an approach based on the ‘creative city’ and entrepreneurism towards a larger emphasis on service delivery and most importantly efficiency. Other players effectively contributing to this smart city ecosystem includes:
As a team we hope to tap into this smart ecosystem to responsibly deploy one of the many intelligent urban systems that will contribute to socio-economic development, improve quality of life and really actually tackle one of the origins of social inequality in cities with a reliable future proof solution.
Here comes the cheesy line….Watch this space for updates on developments to the seaprk journey.
SeaPRK is Shane Moloney, Yifei Zhang and Lye Ogunsanya