The development of smart cities and indeed smart countries require vision and recognition of the fact that many of today's social, economic and sustainability problems can only be solved with the assistance of smart technologies. Key infrastructure elements here include broadband, energy, water and transport. In many situations the ubiqueness, affordability, capacity, robustness, security and quality necessary for this calls for fibre optic and high-speed wireless infrastructures to be used to develop smart integrated city systems. With the growth of cities, rising costs and lower income, cities are struggling to manage the transition to smart cities. This need will increase dramatically over the next 5 to 10 years as industries and whole sectors (healthcare, energy, transport, water) carry out the process of transforming themselves in order to much better address the challenges ahead.
We need to create smart cities, smart businesses and smart countries, with high-speed infrastructure, smart grids, intelligent buildings, etc. Smart Cities are also the hubs in the emerging interconnected/sharing/digital economy.
In order to manage our societies and economies better we need to have much better information about what is happening within all of the individual ecosystems, and in particular information about how these different systems interact. Currently they all operate within silos and there is little or no cooperation or coordination between them. ICT can be the bridge to bring them together; to collect data from them and process it in real time. Information can then be fed back to those who are managing the systems, and those who operate within them, such as doctors, teachers, business people, bureaucrats, politicians.
Some of these data interactions are already happening around smartphones, social media, traffic and crowd control and weather information. This is only the start of what is known as the Internet of Things (IoT) or machine-to-machine communication (M2M).
Smart cities, smart communities, smart buildings, connected communities, gigabyte households, M2M, drones, IoT, big data, data centres, cloud computing, NBN, smart grids, broadband, smart meters, smart homes.
Organisations mentioned in this report:
Telstra, NBN Co, Optus, South East Water, TUSMA. Local councils: Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Ballarat, Parramatta, Kangaroo Island, North Ryde, Maroochydore, SE Queensland.