Carsharing service GoCar has highlighted Dublin’s ranking in the 2017 Smart Cities Index as an indication that years of good work by many companies and public bodies to introduce smart solutions in the capital have been recognised, but more work needs to be done to move further up the rankings.

Dublin ranked 39th out of 500 cities analysed for the provision of carsharing services, a sign that GoCar’s investment of over €5 million in recent years to expand its services, along with the support of the 4 Dublin local authorities, has been acknowledged by international researchers.

Sweden-based smart parking service provider Easypark’s ‘2017 Smart Cities Index’ ranks the top 100 cities around the world who are at the forefront of smart evolution, which looks at digitalization, urban growth, mobility, sustainability, and governance, analysing over 500 cities worldwide for all of these factors, and ranked the top 100 to determine the ultimate Smart City Index. For an added expert opinion, over 20,000 technology and urban planning journalists were asked to rate how smart they considered each location to be.

Overall, the smartest city to live in is Copenhagen, Denmark, with Berlin in 13th and London in 17th place. Vancouver, Canada ranks first for car sharing services, followed by Washington D.C., USA and Berlin, Germany.

Despite positive growth to date, Ireland still lags behind other European countries when it comes to provision of carsharing services. For example, with a total of 3,000 vehicles, Switzerland has 1 shared car for every 2,500 citizens, whereas Ireland’s total is around 1 shared car for every 15,000 citizens. Research has shown us that the majority of carsharing users are within a 5 minute walk of a vehicle, so access is the number 1 barrier to switch from car ownership to carsharing and smarter travel.

Colm Brady, GoCar Managing Director, said:

“We’re delighted to see 10 years of work to grow carsharing in Ireland being recognised in international studies, and we hope to see Dublin continue to move up in the Smart Cities Index as we increase our fleet in 2018 to over 500 vehicles. To achieve this, we believe it is necessary for local authorities to continue to support smarter travel initiatives, and to make more space available for residents to access additional shared cars.

The inclusion of carsharing in the planning process is also an important step forward in providing carsharing services, with the Department Of Housing recently including car sharing as part of the solution to delivering sustainable car-free developments in the recent Draft Design Standards for New Apartments. In other European cities, including Car Sharing Clubs at the planning stage has allowed planners and developers to reduce the level of parking per unit and the size of the basement required, therefore bringing down construction costs, purchase price and rent levels.”

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