by Jennifer O'Brien

5 Australian cities battle for ‘smart city’ glory

Sep 04, 2018
Artificial IntelligenceAugmented RealityBig Data

Brisbane, Adelaide, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast and Canterbury-Bankstown have been shortlisted for the top prize at the inaugural Australian Smart Cities Awards.

The awards, to be held as part of Australia’s first Smart Cities Week from 29-31 October, will recognise and reward leadership and best practice to advance to smart cities movement. It is part of the Smart Cities Council, considered the world’s largest network of smart cities companies, practitioners and policy makers.

The awards are timely given global smart city technology spending is anticipated to hit $80 billion this year, and grow to $135 billion by 2021, according to a new report from IDC.

A smart city is a municipality that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare.

According to Gartner, CIOs focused on smart cities should plan infrastructure to support IoT.

“CIOs must leverage context-based data from different city infrastructures to develop sustainable and forward-looking business and citizen services, while optimising city operations,” according to Gartner research vice-president, Nagayoshi Nakano.

In recognising Australian excellence in the smart city arena, ten awards are up for grabs including: leadership city; research and Innovation; digital city services; regional leadership; smart cities strategy; government smart cities leader; built environment; industry smart cities leader; social impact; and emerging smart cities leader.

Smart Cities Awards jury chair, David Singleton, said the awards will show how smart cities activities can enhance the liveability, workability and sustainability of cities.

“For the first time, Australians will gain a clear idea of what leadership in smart cities looks like.”

Smart cities

The coveted prize of the night is the ‘leadership city’ category, with five cities named as finalists. These include:

Brisbane City Council Free public WiFi, intelligent transport systems and digital literacy programs demonstrate Council’s commitment to technology, data and innovation. Council has invested $5 million to establish a startup and innovation hub, has trained 3,500 school children in coding, released 130 datasets to help businesses and the community develop new customer experiences and solutions, and was the first city in Australia to implement a functional, large-scale Bluetooth monitoring system.

City of Adelaide Ten Gigabit Adelaide connects businesses to high-speed, high-capability networks, increasing amenities and liveability, boosting jobs and living standards, and attracting the attention of international investors such as Elon Musk and Sanjeev Gupta. The City of Adelaide’s strategy is empowering the economy and aims to make Adelaide one of the most connected cities in the world.

City of Ipswich The City of Ipswich is building a network for smart infrastructure and IoT. The city has built a 100 square kilometre 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 Sunshine Coast Council has harnessed a host of technologies to create a more liveable 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, street lights and WiFi access points to manage service delivery in real-time. Council’s Smart Centre has welcomed more than 2,500 visitors since opening in 2016.

City of Canterbury Bankstown Facing significant challenges, including language barriers, socio-economics and local council amalgamations, 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.