2017 has been a momentous year in the smart cities and communities movement. This is especially true in several Asia-Pacific countries – notably Australia, Singapore, China and Korea.
Newcastle, in NSW Australia, has made huge progress with its award of a Smart Cities & Suburbs Grant to advance the city’s public transportation system and digital infrastructure. Information on transport and many other public services is being made more available to residents and visitors via an updated shared data strategy.
In a busy year for the city, ground was broken on the light rail project and smart lighting poles were deployed throughout the CBD with public Wi-Fi.
Adelaide, in South Australia, was an early leader in aspirations and in its implementation, for example, of smart lighting. This momentum may have stalled recently, at least according to its own Smart City Studio website, where the news and initiatives are from 2016 (and where several links are broken).
This may not be a fair reflection of reality though: we know as well as anyone how difficult it is to keep the website in sync with the latest events. In fact, Adelaide’s own Peter Auhl won CIO of the year award, so, there must be something we are missing here. Clearly the CreatorTech marketing team needs to visit South Australia and its wine region quite soon.
Ipswich, despite political hiccups, has maintained its early market-leading (world-leading even?) momentum with, for example, its cooperative and automated vehicle initiative moving into advanced planning phase.
This is billed as Australia’s largest cooperative intelligent transport system program. Five hundred Ipswich motorists will be chosen to take part in the trial which is due to hit the road in 2019. Again, we hope to be able to write more about this during the year.
Singapore has been clear and unambiguous about its smart city ambitions. It has also embarked on an initiative to measure its progress at becoming one. Singapore’s University of Technology and Design will work with a business school based in Switzerland, the International Institute for Management Development. The two year project aims to “be the global benchmark in which cities … can find a unique resource to identify best practices and to design and implement their own strategies for the world of tomorrow.”
CreatorTech would add that, in the plethora of proposed standards and definitions that are developing around the smart city movement, such a global benchmark would be quite invaluable.
The many developments in China are too numerous, and some of the too momentous, to note here. They deserve an article – several articles – of their own.
It is worth saying though that the drivers for China’s own smart community progress – notably the nationwide push to reduce pollution and the Belt and Road initiative – could, if successful, become drivers for development in the rest of the region and beyond.
And with that, we have reached the recommended limit for a readable article. Huge thanks to you for reading. We wish you a healthy and prosperous start to 2018.
The author would like to acknowledge invaluable input to this article from CreatorTech team member Andy West.