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ASCA calls for national smart city initiative

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 10 January, 2018

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The Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA) has called on all levels of Australian government to cooperate to help make Australia a world leader in the use of smart city technology.

Newly appointed ASCA CEO Laurie Patton, former CEO of Internet Australia, said federal, local and state governments must work together on a national strategy to ensure every Australian community experiences the benefits of the smart cities movement.

“We are well on the way, with Melbourne and Ipswich both named in a global top seven announced recently by the New York-based Intelligent Communities Forum, yet there are many places where the work is yet to begin,” he said.

“We need every level of government to embrace the smart use of technology to deal with increasing congestion, environmental issues and the many other constraints that are causing people to question the state of modern city living.”

Examples of smart city initiatives being deployed across the world include smart lighting systems to reduce power needs, smart parking systems, intelligent traffic monitoring and connected rubbish bins that alert councils when they are full.

In Australia, the City of Sydney plans to roll out free public Wi-Fi and smart street furniture including bus shelters, kiosks, automatic public toilets, benches and bins, while Newcastle City Council has a comprehensive smart city strategy involving among other things a city-wide IoT platform and smart parking and traffic sensors.

Late last year the government also announced funding for 52 smart city projects across Australia under the first round of the Smart Cities and Suburbs program.

Later this year, ASCA plans to hold ASCA2018, the largest conference for smart city and communities practitioners in the Southern Hemisphere. The event will take place in Melbourne on 9–11 May.

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