Georges River area receives smart cities funding

Monday, 18 February, 2019

Georges River area receives smart cities funding

Smart technology is now being rolled out in outdoor public spaces across the Georges River local government area.

This follows the council being awarded $380,507 in funding under Round 2 of the Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

Georges River Council Mayor Kevin Greene said he is delighted that the council has an opportunity to build on its 2018 program, in order to continue to innovate within the Georges River area.

“This is a great win for council after the successful rollout of the Smart Social Spaces Project as part of the Round 1 program last year,” Greene said.

“The project will include installation of smart street furniture at three outdoor locations across Georges River town centres to create ChillOUT hubs for residents, workers and visitors alike.

“The IT-enabled spaces will feature solar-powered charging points and environmental sensors to capture urban heat data.

“As technology becomes more integrated into our lives, it’s important for councils to harness new technologies to better serve the needs of their communities and improve services.

“Sensors on smart furniture installed in Round 1 will enable us to access information on the daily use of public spaces and obtain data for more efficient maintenance and waste services.

“I look forward to building on council’s strong partnerships with the University of New South Wales and Street Furniture Australia, and combining our expertise and passion for innovation to bring wired-up facilities to our community.”

The sustainably designed ChillOUT hubs will help to ‘green up’ the locality, increase community connectivity, provide greater social equity and cohesion, enable knowledge exchange and provide flexible spaces for work and play for all members of the local area.

Nancy Marshall, Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales, said data collected from the ChillOUT hubs will also help to guide council decisions around the use of public space.

“We are pleased to be working with Georges River Council once again, to design and test innovative open-air community spaces,” she said.

“The project will measure urban heat microclimates at the ChillOUT hubs, to monitor the use of public space and how people experience the urban climate.

“This data will be linked into the council’s ‘Smart City Management System’ to help inform decisions about future open space design and public infrastructure management.”

June Lee Boxsell, Design Manager at Street Furniture Australia, said that the ChillOUT hubs will be designed to fit the users’ needs.

“Street Furniture Australia is excited to collaborate with Georges River Council and the University of New South Wales to develop, install and test three smart hub prototypes,” Boxsell said.

“Each hub will aim to optimise user comfort and recreate the feeling of home in the public space environment to create deeper connections for the community with public spaces.”

The $879,338 project is co-funded by council ($228,750), the University of New South Wales ($151,081) and Street Furniture Australia ($119,000).

The Australian Government’s $50 Million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program is supporting the delivery of innovative smart city projects that improve the livability, productivity and sustainability of cities and towns across Australia.

Image courtesy of Georges River Council.

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