Coal and steel no longer dominate Newcastle’s landscape. The region is undergoing an economic, social and cultural transformation fuelled in part by the City of Newcastle’s push to become a centre for innovation.
Recently on display, the city’s draft Smart City Strategy 2017-2021 outlines how Council will improve “liveability, sustainability and economic diversity, develop local innovation, build international profile and attract talent and inward investment” over the next four years.
At the core of Council’s approach includes collaboration between different city stakeholders including the University of Newcastle and State government to deliver smart city infrastructure, a new Digital Precinct with high speed fibre broadband, and an innovation hub that will bring together academia, industry, investors, and entrepreneurs.
While the final Smart City Strategy will be submitted to Council for adoption this August, several smart city poles have already been installed in the city centre that capture real time traffic data, offer WiFi, energy saving LED lighting and public safety information.
Key to Newcastle's progress is a strategy that places people and collaboration at its centre rather than a single technology provider or platform.
Nathaniel Bavinton, City of Newcastle's Smart City Coordinator, was a contributor to our first round of national smart city masterclasses in July.