ALCO Consulting acted as client-side advisor to Irish Rail from start to finish of a project to install a smartcard ticketing system in Dublin, Ireland. The system was installed on time and on budget and is proving to be highly successful.
ALCO Consulting considers the smart city definition ‘a city with integrated processes best supporting its citizens and improving their environment to live, work, and play’ as one of the most appropriate in use. To us, supporting the citizen is the key starting point for concept development; leading to the need to determine what it is that people want in terms of services, integration, information and the ability to make choices and changes. Even though major communication providers are promoting technical and functional capability and data and service sharing; and even though the smart city is frequently alluded to by city administrators, the majority of citizens have not even heard the term ’smart city’, let alone having had any real explanation of the concept or the benefits.
However, faced with unprecedented and rapid urban growth, increasing congestion and huge pressures on public transport, most cities, sooner or later have to take action. With the availability of new and emergent technologies supported by high expectation , we believe the time to take action is now.
Development of the ‘smart city’ is not just about technologies such as; intelligent traffic lights, managed motorways, real-time data collection and ‘big-data’. It is more, much more than that. It is the cross sector, cross service integration of all services from medical through to education and housing, and it’s even about reducing the need to travel in the first place through urban development and more intelligent planning. It’s daunting and it’s a long-term commitment that will change the ‘DNA’ of a city.
We believe that the key is in responsive service sharing and integration and this cannot be developed by diktat from government, nor can it be done in response to major suppliers offering ‘their’ solutions. It has to come from the city itself. It has to be about responding to what the citizens need to make the city a better place to live, work and play. This is a ground-up process involving working to take advantage of new technologies as the enabler and developing an integrated service approach that can support radical rethinks in the domain of urban planning,
ALCO Consulting has a wealth of practical experience in identifying the most appropriate building blocks and supporting our clients to take manageable, positive steps toward supporting the smart city environment.
"Alan and Chris provided much needed clarity and honesty as to the state of play regarding our largest and most sensitive ticketing project and options for the way forward. Their experience, technical knowledge, and honesty were critical to navigating the way forward for this billion plus project."