Canterbury Bankstown City met with Cities Leadership Institute on Thursday at a Meeting of the Minds Workshop to discuss their smart cities roadmap initiative.
The workshop brought together a coalition of urban leaders including Sara Stace from Waverley Council, Iain Walker from NewDemocracy, Micky Pinkerton from Newcastle City Council and Andy West from CreatorTech to discuss the importance of having a smart city roadmap for Canterbury Bankstown City.
The City of Canterbury Bankstown is located in Sydney’s south western suburbs and is home to 350,000 residents. With half of the population born overseas and nearly 60 per cent of the population speaking a language other than English at home, the City of Canterbury Bankstown is one of the most culturally, socially and economically diverse communities in Sydney. The City's gentrification is only adding pressure on urban leaders to put in place new local initiatives that will satisfy current residents and welcome new ones.
The idea to build a Canterbury Bankstown smart city began in San Jose in 2017 when Mayor, Clr Khal Asfour and James Carey (Director - City Future) went on an international smart cities exchange run by the Cities Leadership Institute.
After being immersed in the context, aspirations and vision for the community, these smart thinkers interrogated and shaped Canterbury Bankstown’s smart city roadmap with the help of Cities Leadership Institute.
So, how do you create a city that makes its citizens feel creative, connected and cared about?
The Canterbury Bankstown City's strategic plan seeks to create a place where its citizens feel at home. Housing affordability and liveability are key priorities, alongside new public infrastructure, a range of local transport options, open spaces and community facilities.
Underpinning the City’s new vision and plan will be initiatives that honour their diverse origins and working-class roots. This will be achieved through open dialogue between residents and their council. Innovation and technology is critical to deliver on this vision and will underpin the Cities future.
After saying good bye to the urban leaders and making my way back to the office I couldn't help but think about Canterbury Bankstown City's willingness to collaborate and develop a smart cities program for its residents. It's incredibly inspiring to have been in a room with urban leaders who want to make a difference.
Esther Gachuhi - Program Coordinator, Cities Leadership Institute