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Two NSW Smart City initiatives recognised for improving quality of life

Image Credit: University of Wollongong

Initiatives led by the University of Wollongong are being recognised with awards from the Sydney Smart City Awards, according to the announcement made.

Projects that embrace low-cost technology, an open access ethos, and community involvement have won awards for Best Community Initiative and Best Local Government Initiative.

The Wollongong’s pioneering Digital Living Lab (DLL), which is led by the University’s SMART Infrastructure Facility, is an open, free-to-air platform, accessible to the entire community to use for research and to test new ideas.

Through the ideas of Share, Enable and Create, the DLL is facilitating a smart city solution, improving the quality of life for people in the Illawarra/Shoalhaven community.

LoRaWAN, a digital networking technology, is being used by the Lab to create a wireless network that can cover large distances with low power.

It is a media access control (MAC) protocol for wide area networks. It is designed to allow low-powered devices to communicate with Internet-connected applications over long range wireless connections.

The network provides the opportunity to deploy remote sensors and other communications devices that collect and distribute data on the network.

The Best Community Initiative award was given to the DLL. The Lab already hosts a wide range of applications that aid the community such as a shark alert app for swimmers and a map for firefighters to find hydrants quickly in an emergency.

The Smart Pedestrian Project by the Liverpool City Council, developed in collaboration with SMART researchers and industry partners, won the Best Local Government Initiative.

It is a ground-breaking initiative that will revolutionise urban design and traffic management in the city.

It makes use of a combination of CCTV, image recognition, Wi-Fi and LPWAN technologies to collect real time volumes of pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the Liverpool city centre.

This allows the council to make informed planning decisions with growing numbers of residents and workers moving around the city centre.

The awards were a welcome recognition for the work of researchers and their partners in the community and local government. These initiatives are receiving the recognition they deserve.

Smart cities are all about using technology to make the places where people spend their lives, more liveable.

Anyone in the community who as an Internet of Things (IoT) project is being encouraged to contact the team to see how they can use the free LoRaWAN network that covers Wollongong from Thirroul in the north to Yallah in the south.

The Sydney Smart City Awards are designed to provide a platform to celebrate projects that address the fundamental challenges faced by cities, governments, communities, industry and the ICT sector.

The Committee for Sydney is an independent think tank and champion for the whole of Sydney, providing thought leadership beyond the electoral cycle.

The Committee aims to enhance the economic, social, cultural and environmental conditions that make Sydney a competitive, resilient and liveable global city.

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