Aphra Kerr and Jamie Cudden: AI and Sustainable Cities

30 November 2023

With more people living even faster lives, our cities need to be smarter, more sustainable and easier to live in.

Dublin City Council are running an experiment in D8, using technology to measure everything from traffic movements to rainfall and even how full the bins get. They are using this data to create a ‘digital twin’ of the area and virtualise how changes will improve the quality of life. For example, they’re talking about a virtual cycle path which you can test with a VR cycle ride.

However, this smart city program raises questions about citizen data and how to best involve residents. Our guests, Jamie Cudden from Dublin City Council and Aphra Kerr from the Adapt Centre are both working directly on the project and share details of their progress.


01:05 The invisible technology behind the scenes which use data to make decisions and deliver services more smartly

04:00 Good practice around data governance as ADAPT works with Dublin City Council on Smart Dublin projects

07:26 How they are engaging citizens in new and creative ways and getting their input

12:35 The importance of protecting privacy

18:51 Who is responsible for implementing the technology in smart cities?

23:30 How the smart city approach has been evolving from an emphasis on connectivity to pilots on health and wellness initiatives

32:39 Why pilot projects offer the flexibility to experiment and learn before scaling up

38:08 The benefits of when data gathering, engagement and impact all fall into place seamlessly


Jamie Cudden is the Smart City Programme Manager at Dublin City Council. He established the regional Smart Dublin program in 2015. He has a track record of bringing together partners from industry, start-ups, academia and public agencies to accelerate deployment of new ideas using the ‘city as a testbed’. He was acknowledged as ‘Civic Innovator of the Year Award in 2021 by Harvard’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Centre. This was for his role in scaling up the Smart Dublin programme. He was also recognised by Trinity College Dublin as Innovation Partner of the ear for his pioneering work on Smart Docklands.

Twitter – @jcudden

Professor Aphra Kerr is a Professor in Sociology at Maynooth University, Ireland. She is a funded PI and science lead within the Transparent Digital Governance strand at the Science Foundation Ireland funded ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology. She is also Principal Investigator on two projects collaborating with Dublin City Council and Smart Dublin and on the YouGamSI project which examines gambling marketing. Her current research focuses on the governance and social impacts of AI across media and everyday smart technologies.

MU Website – https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/faculty-social-sciences/our-people/aphra-kerr
Google Scholar – https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=3Uop6uoAAAAJ
Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-aphra-kerr-74b630/
Twitter – @aphrak