Five Australian cities vie for smart cities leadership award
Brisbane, Adelaide, Ipswich, the Sunshine Coast and Canterbury-Bankstown have been shortlisted for the ‘Leadership City’ award — the top prize at the inaugural Australian Smart Cities Awards.
To be held as part of Australia’s first Smart Cities Week from 29–31 October, the awards will recognise and reward leadership, celebrate best practice and stimulate action to advance the smart cities movement. Ten awards will be presented in total: Leadership City; Research and Innovation; Digital City Services; Regional Leadership; Smart Cities Strategy; Social Impact; Built Environment; Smart Cities Leader – Government; Smart Cities Leader – Industry; and Smart Cities Leader – Emerging.
The first finalist in the Leadership City category, Brisbane City Council, has invested $5 million to establish a start-up and innovation hub, trained 3500 school children in coding and released 130 datasets to help businesses and the community develop new customer experiences and solutions. Free public Wi-Fi, intelligent transport systems and digital literacy programs demonstrate the council’s commitment to technology, data and innovation. It is said to be the first city in Australia to implement a functional, large-scale Bluetooth monitoring system.
The City of Adelaide was recognised for a strategy which is empowering the economy and aims to make Adelaide one of the most connected cities in the world. Ten Gigabit Adelaide connects businesses to high-speed, high-capability networks, increasing amenities and livability and boosting jobs and living standards.
The City of Ipswich is meanwhile building a network for smart infrastructure and the Internet of Things. Using Australian-first technology, the City has built a 100 km2 IoT network that supports sensor-based data gathering, video analytics, remote asset management, safety and security. The City is also partnering with Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads to run Australia’s largest cooperative intelligent transport system program.
Sunshine Coast Council has harnessed a host of technologies to create a more livable city, including smart bins and water meters, parking and sensors to monitor wildlife and waterways. The council’s Smart Region Management Platform receives data from sensors, streetlights and Wi-Fi access points to manage service delivery in real time. The council’s Smart Centre has welcomed more than 2500 visitors since opening in 2016.
Finally, facing challenges including language barriers, socioeconomics and local council amalgamations, the City of Canterbury Bankstown worked with the CSIRO and the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils to develop the ‘Our Energy Future’ program for renters and investors. This free energy-advice service was designed to address obstacles to the uptake of renewable energy connected with suppliers and help residents reduce their power bills.
According to the Smart Cities Awards’ jury chair, David Singleton AM, the awards will “articulate how smart cities activities can enhance the livability, workability and sustainability of our cities”. Telstra and Deloitte are partnering with Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand to present the awards.
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