Skip to main content

2015 Press Releases

Calling Cork public to contribute to 'Smart' future

17 Nov 2015

Researchers from the International Energy Research Centre (IERC), hosted in Tyndall National Institute, are inviting Cork people to participate in surveys in order to have their say in Cork's future development. 

The CorkCitiEngage team is currently rolling out surveys in schools, door-to-door and online, giving people a chance to express their views on their participation in public issues, digital skills, and use of public infrastructure. The project is part of the Cork Smart Gateway initiative, which is driven by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Nimbus Research Centre and Tyndall National Institute.

The purpose of the survey is to gather information on how people currently engage with public policy and decision-making in Cork. The survey uses an innovative and original 'smart' approach which combines traditional door-to-door survey methods, provided by a third party provider, with crowd-sourced information-gathering, using student volunteers going door-to-door and an additional online survey. The crowd-sourced methodology is an experiment that will shed light on the possibility of sharing risks, resources, and expertise when carrying out this type of research. The online public survey is currently open, and since October, CorkCitiEngage student volunteers have been visiting Cork neighbourhoods to ask people what they think about their involvement with public policy matters. The organisers aim to collect 2200 responses from the public survey, split evenly between door-to-door and online responses, by the end of December 2015.

The organisers hope that the results will help identify and prioritise 'Smart Gateway' initiatives for Cork which will apply smart solutions to improve the physical realm in areas including energy conservation and mobility. In addition to the public survey, an online survey link has been sent to secondary schools and youth reach centres to get a younger perspective on engagement with public policy. A separate survey link has been distributed to local government officials in Cork City Council and Cork County Council to indicate the baseline level of public engagement in Cork.

Tony Day, Director of the IERC, said, “At the heart of 'Smart Regions', there are people. By participating in this survey, you will help to shape the thinking of local policy-makers. This project is within the community and for the community.” 

The IERC is conducting the CorkCitiEngage surveys to provide data for the Cork Smart Gateway Initiative, which seeks to establish Cork as an attractive place to live, work and visit. The initiative aims to use advanced technology solutions in infrastructure and public service provision to allow Cork's residents to participate in decision-making and enjoy an enhanced environment.

“This is an exciting project from the point of view of the IERC, and our researcher, Long Pham, will be analysing responses to see how people might behave towards smart initiatives in Cork,” said Tony Day. “This kind of research enables 'Smart Cities' to develop with citizens and residents in mind. This research is co-funded by the IERC, and will hopefully be the start of a bigger programme of research and 'Smart City' projects.” 

CorkCitiEngage volunteers will be going door-to-door with surveys in 20 areas in Cork until December 31st 2015, and members of the public who wish to participate in the online survey can do so at The data collected will be aggregated and used anonymously for research purposes only, and participants have a chance of winning a mini iPad if they complete the survey.

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF