The City of Canada Bay has been working steadily on an impressive number of smart city projects from intelligent lighting and parking infrastructure to library digitisation and innovative sustainability initiatives. In addition to cost-saving and environmental outcomes, an overarching focus on place guides much of their work.
Definitions vary on what a smart city is. For the City of Canada Bay, it is one in which Council seeks out smart city solutions using technology, information and data, working with residents to become an “engaged, green, healthy, liveable, moving, prosperous and vibrant” city. Aligning its smart city work with a people-centred city vision will be crucial to its long term success and has been a key indicator of smart cities the Institute has visited in the United States.
Falling into six areas, the City of Canada Bay’s efforts focus on libraries, culture and learning; place infrastructure; council administration; Council services; environmental management; and enforcement and regulation. Pilots and partnerships feature heavily in their approach and new community precinct, The Connection, Rhodes has been used extensively as a site for testing and rolling out new ideas.
The Connection, Rhodes, City of Canada Bay
A burgeoning community and culture hub, The Connection breaks new ground for library services with its focus on digital technology. Moving away from traditional models of quiet study spaces and physical books, the Learning Space at The Connection offers free Wi-Fi, a 3D printer, A0 plotter, die cutter, sound recording and rehearsal studios, photography and video equipment, and a digital classroom. It will also offer robotics and electronics workshops for all ages. The library-as-maker-space concept has been popular in Austin’s award winning new Central Library and San Diego’s Central Library.
Digital technology features heavily elsewhere in The Connection. In addition to free public Wi-Fi and solar power points, real-time data about parking options collected through sensor based technology is shared with visitors while environmental technologies have been leveraged to reduce energy and water consumption in the precinct’s buildings.
An app-based approach to community problems has been another highlight of City of Canada Bay’s smart city work. The city’s place team has promoted apps relevant to local government and local centres which deliver real time transport information, public toilet maps and apps such as NeatStreets to encourage reporting of damaged infrastructure simply and effectively.
City of Canada Bay’s smart city work to date serves as a guide for other Councils considering embarking on a similar journey.
Images from "Intelligent Canada Bay" Philip Edney,Director Community Development and Stephanie Kelly Manager Place - Management, City of Canada Bay