.IE Digital Town Blueprint: Introduction

The blueprint for digital towns

We are a committed advocate of the benefits of the internet and digital technology for local communities, governments and businesses. Through our initiative the .IE Digital Town programme, we seek to empower these groups, help them make better use of digital technology and celebrate the towns that successfully integrate digital into social and commercial life.

To help town leaders and policymakers embed their own digital town programmes and action plans in empirical data, .IE partnered with the Irish Institute of Digital Business at DCU to fully explore the concept and value of the “digital town” through a comprehensive research project. The resultant framework is the first of its kind in Europe.

“Digital” is a broad term that encompasses technology, telecoms, society, politics, culture, and the economy. For the purposes of the .IE Digital Town Blueprint, we define a digital town as a geographic and information space that adopts and integrates information and communications technologies in all aspects of town life (adapted from Hervé-Von Driessche, 2001).

To provide initial benchmark data for town leadership and policymakers, we assessed five pilot towns across Ireland using a slimmed down version of the Digital Town Blueprint. Each of these pilot towns represents a common socio-economic or geographic characteristic.

Coming soon: ‘Digital Towns in Ireland – the Blueprint’, an overview of our research project to date, will be available shortly.

It will include results from each of the pilot town assessments, as well as observations for decision-makers that these towns, and others like them, should consider digitalisation initiatives that positively impact the local economy, public services, communications, social cohesion, and overall quality of life.

In due course, further technical detail about our research will also be provided in the Readiness Assessment Methodology Report and in the individual town assessment reports (available on request). 

Further information

You can read more about .IE Digital Town Blueprint on the below web pages.