O'Connell Street
X91 F8PC Waterford, Ireland

Episode: #24 Southern Regional Assembly Ireland: "There Is Always Something To Be Gained"

Guests: David Kelly, the Director of the Southern Regional Assembly in Ireland

Co-hosted episode with Alessandro Gaillard, Communications Campaign Officer at the Solar Impulse Foundation and host of the Solutions for Cities Podcast


Find transcript here

Summaries of Key Takeaways:

  • Regional Assembly Overview: David Kelly introduces the Southern Regional Assembly, emphasizing its role in regional planning and EU fund management.
  • Smart Specialization Strategy: Discussion on leveraging smart specialization as a tool to address regional disparities and enhance innovation.
  • Collaboration and Learning: Insights into the importance of cooperating with other European regions, sharing best practices, and learning from each other's experiences.
  • Energy Efficiency Projects: Examples of projects aimed at improving energy efficiency in residential properties, highlighting collaborative efforts and the importance of behavioral change.
  • Smart Region Concept Development: Efforts to brand the Southern Region as a "smart region" through the creation of a framework and the promotion of regional collaboration and identity.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: Exploration of the dynamics between public authorities and private entities in implementing policies and projects.
  • Challenges and Opportunities: Identification of obstacles such as the region's newness and the need for a cohesive identity, alongside strategies to foster collaboration among local authorities and stakeholders.


“To you, what is a Smart City?”:

David Kelly: “Hmm. Yeah, interesting question. I think a smart city is one that works well for its citizens that improves the quality of life for its citizens so that our services, um, our decisions are taken effectively, clearly services are delivered well, quality of life is good. So if it works well for the citizens, to me, that makes it a smart city. Cause everything should be about improving the life of the citizens.”