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NSW Investing In ‘Smart Spaces’

The NSW Government announced that it is investing AU$ 2.4 million in a partnership with two Sydney Universities aimed at supporting regional councils to reap the benefits of smart cities technology. In partnership with local councils, the Smart Places Acceleration Program continues to deliver smart technological capabilities to fix problems that people are facing every day.

The Minister for Local Government stated that said 91 regional councils in NSW could benefit from the Smart Regional Spaces: Ready, Set, Go! partnership with the University of Sydney and UNSW Sydney under the Smart Places Strategy launch. She noted that this innovative partnership with regional councils, the University of Sydney and UNSW will see them connect with industry experts, and empower investment in new technology and data-driven solutions to help address the substantial divide in digital inclusion between Australians living in rural and urban areas.

The Minister stated that examples of smart place initiatives include smart street lighting, real-time bus schedules available on digital screens or through apps, using smart sensors to gather waste management data or smart sensors installed on parking spaces.

Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government noted that digital uplift and inclusion is a key pillar of the Smart Places Strategy, especially making sure regional communities can take advantage of emerging smart technology.

The Dean of the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney said smart technology was ready to be expanded into the state’s regional communities. Smart technology solutions in transport, communications and energy efficiency are already a reality in metropolitan cities and there is an incredible opportunity to bring more of these initiatives into our rural and regional areas.

The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture at UNSW said the project is an example of the University’s commitment to transforming the lives of people in regional communities, with the Smart Places movement offering social, economic and environmentally sustainable advantages. She added that many of the ideas generated by this movement to date relate to the challenges of dense urban living that do not necessarily translate to regional spatial scales, assets and geographically dispersed communities, and why a tailored regional focus is so important.

The Smart Regional Spaces: Ready, Set, Go!, is funded through the Digital Restart Fund under the Smart Places Acceleration Program and expertise and contributions from UNSW and the University of Sydney.

About the Smart Places Strategy

Building on Government’s long term planning frameworks, the Smart Places Strategy will enhance existing economic and technological strategies by streamlining policy and plans across all levels of Government in NSW. The NSW Government will play an important role in ensuring its customers realise the full benefits Smart Places have to offer.

This includes:

  • setting legislation, policies and guidelines for place owners, industry and government agencies to consistently roll out smart initiatives;
  • creating partnership structures and governance models across local, state and commonwealth governments and the private sector to maximise investment in smart initiatives; and,
  • direct investment to support market acceleration and to address market failure so that no one is left behind.

The Smart Places Strategy aligns with and brings together the outcomes sought within the NSW Government’s metropolitan and regional infrastructure, economic, land use and digital strategies. This helps achieve their overall liveability objectives in regional and metropolitan places.

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