SCCANZ releases Code for Smart Communities
A new standard of practice for smart community projects has emerged from deep engagement with industry, tech companies and government.
The Code for Smart Communities, which was released during Smart Cities Week Australia in Sydney at the end of October, is designed to serve as a benchmark for urban development and regeneration practices.
The voluntary code represents best practices for more technology enabled and sustainable urban development outcomes, drawing on international standards and practices, and covers areas such as telecommunications connectivity, digital planning practices and the use of data and analytics to drive urban development decision-making.
According to the code, while much of the early discussion and investment around smart cities has been driven by local government, cities are built on smaller components defined in the code as communities. These include precincts, neighbourhoods, town centres, campuses and business parks.
The code recommends developing a digital strategy that is performance focused, involves the use of open standards unifying all participants in the smart city ecosystem, uses data as the basis of decision support and optimisation, and promotes a culture that supports digital connectivity and transformation.
Once such a strategy is in place, the use of data to inform smart community decision-making should be evolved over time, to eventually allow for capabilities such as the creation of real-time actionable intelligence and autonomous decision-making through machine learning and AI.
The code also contains a series of guiding principles covering areas including connectivity, innovation and strategy, as well as a series of metrics that will be used to determine whether a smart community project can claim alignment with the code.
In terms of connectivity, the code states that smart communities should have access to ubiquitous connectivity. It is also important to encourage interoperability to allow technologies to work together to gather relevant smart city data.
To claim alignment with the code, a smart community project must demonstrate evidence that all property parcels could access internet services with download speeds of at least 1 Gbps, or symmetrical speeds of 100 Mbps.
Projects must also meet other criteria such as demonstrating that the community will be able to access an outdoor low-power wide area network (LPWAN) for IoT devices, free public Wi-Fi networks and multiple 4G or 5G networks.
Projects claiming alignment with the code must also commit to achieving at least four stars on the Green Building Council Australia’s Green Star – Communities rating system.
Other metrics for claiming alignment with the code focus on the collection and use of advanced analytics as the basis of planning, design and strategic decision-making.
For example, the code encourages project leaders to commit to exploiting emerging technologies, data and analytics in the planning, design, construction and operational management of all buildings.
It also encourages establishing an open data portal where relevant data can be published for public consumption. Projects should also consider entering into a data management and integration agreement with the city or regional council that could involve connection to a city-wide, open data-sharing platform.
According to the code, smart communities should also build a culture of creativity and agility to encourage innovation, including the establishment of successful start-ups and the adoption of emerging technologies such as blockchain, fog computing and IoT.
SCCANZ Executive Director Adam Beck said the code has been established after deep engagement with the development industry, technology companies, all tiers of government and other stakeholders.
“This is the first time a smart community has been defined in a way that can be practically applied. We went back to principles to build this code from the ground up,” he said.
Two development projects have agreed to act as lighthouse projects and be the first to embrace the principles of the code. These are a development in Queensland set to house more than 40,000 residents, and the Sydney Olympic Park project that is planned to become a 23,000 resident community with more than 30,000 jobs.
Five local councils, a university, two businesses and three individuals were presented with awards or commendations during an event at Telstra’s Customer Insights Centre in Sydney on 30 October.
Sunshine Coast Council won the Leadership City award for its commitment to smart cities through data sharing, investment in IoT technology, free public Wi-Fi and a solar farm that offsets all of the Council’s energy use. The council also won the Regional Leadership award and a commendation in the Digital City Services category, while its Smart City Framework Lead Michael Whereat won the Government Leader award.
City of Adelaide won in the Digital City Services category for its Economic Insights Dashboard, which provides key city indicators based on demographic, economic, property, business, employment, tourism and other data. The city also received a commendation in the Leadership City category for its Ten Gigabit Adelaide high-speed broadband project.
Ipswich City Council won a commendation in the Leadership City category for its 100 square kilometre IoT network, which it is using to support sensor-based data gathering, video analytics, remote asset management, safety and security.
Furniture company Street Furniture Australia won the Built Environment award for its project to measure the number and demographic profile of visitors to a joint thoroughfare project with the ACT Government.
Brisbane Marketing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Brisbane City Council, was the runner-up. The company received a commendation for its The Capital project, a co-working space for start-ups that opened in 2016.
The University of Wollongong won a commendation in the Research and Innovation category — the only plaudit given out in this category — for a joint project with Liverpool Council and Meshed IoT involving real-time measurement of pedestrian movements.
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