Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business


Organisation & Professional Development

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Wright


The term “Smart City” has gained a lot of attention from policy-makers, business leaders and citizens in recent years. The definition of what a smart city is differs depending on the city, region or individual that you ask but most definitions define it as local governments’ projects and initiatives that are implemented through some form of information and communication technologies, which are designed to enhance the quality of life for citizens and stakeholders whilst maintaining a sustainable future. This study aims to build an understanding of what the Smart cities concept actually means to Cork and the implications of Information Communications Technology for the citizens in Cork. Because of its’ common use worldwide, this study will use the term ‘Smart city’ throughout, although in the case of Cork, it is striving to be a ‘Smart Region’; encompassing the city, county and port regions of Cork. Cork is very well positioned as a Smart Region due to its geographic and demographic position and also its range of ICT industry technology companies that it is home to i.e.Tyco, EMC, Dell, Apple. Citizen participation to build a Smart city is encouraged worldwide, and the newly introduced model of the ‘quadruple helix’; a model incorporating representative bodies from government, industry, academia and the recent addition of the citizen which shows progress for cities. This study explores how those governing bodies perceive the role of citizen engagement in the context of development of the Cork Smart Region. Through a focus on the Cork region as a specific case, this research looks at the role of different actors involved in the Smart cities implementation of initiatives, the role of the EU and the Smart cities Concept and aims to assess the level of collaboration between involved actors. A qualitative research method was adopted to investigate the research question, and to address the aims and objectives of the study. This comprised of semi-structured interviews with experts working in Cork smart gateway. County and City Councils, Nimbus Research Centre, Tyndall Institute/IERC, Cork Councillor/lrish member of the EU Committee of the Regions, Port of Cork Company, Tyco and Cork Chamber of Commerce. The researcher is hopeful that this study will provide a contribution to knowledge as there appears to be a lack of academic material which discusses the Smart cities concept for Cork specifically.


Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Masters of Business.

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