The Australian smart city movement only took off in earnest in April 2016, when the government quite unexpectedly launched its National Smart City Plan. Until that time only a handful of cities were active in this space; obviously they received a shot in the arm with the announcement.
Mid-size cities are the most progressive in this field. They have the right structure and the right size to develop holistic smart city strategies. At the same time they are in a better position to make changes to the silo structures within their organisations and are able to transform into smart councils.
Leadership from the top (mayors and CEOs) is essential, as well as a strategic smart city plan and a smart council. With such a structure in place these councils are well-placed to engage with their citizens in order to co-create s mart city plans, designs and projects.
The national plan has spurred on other cities those who are just starting on this journey, and those who still have to start and assistance is available within the national plan for these towns and cities.
While Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are all developing their own smart city projects it is much harder for these large cities to develop holistic strategies.
It is not only the local councils that are active in this space. The industry has put its weight behind a Smart City Industry Board and there is also a Smart City R&D Group. Their aim is to develop collaboration models with local councils in order to advance smart cities behind more projects.
One of the key issues that still needs to be resolved is funding and procurement. Business and funding models will have to be developed with industry assistance, but the three levels of government will also have to collaborate to make this happen.
This report provides an overview of all the important national smart city developments.