NSW smart places strategy to embed sensors in cities

The NSW government has launched Australia’s first smart places strategy which will see sensors and technology built into future city infrastructure.

Victor Dominello

Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello says the strategy will apply in a range of areas including roads, water usage, construction and health information.

The concept involves embedding senors and communications technology in infrastructure, and using them to capture, store and provide data that can be used in decision making.

For example, smart traffic signalling, real time route planning and parking spot senors can improve traffic flow. Smart metres and real time alerts can help residents manage water use, and air quality sensors can give health providers local information.

As part of the strategy Infrastructure NSW will develop a Digital Built NSW Program which will be piloted in the Western Parkland City.

It will also invest in connected technologies in areas undergoing significant renewal, including Parramatta and the Olympic peninsula, some regional centres and innovation precincts.

Mr Dominello says the strategy aligns with similar initiatives from the federal government and local councils, and is underpinned by a range of policies including the  Internet of Things Policy, the Smart Infrastructure Policy and the NSW Cyber Security Policy.

Similar strategies are already being used in Dublin, Barcelona and Boston, he says.

“Data and precision modelling is just as important as bricks and mortar. Information is power and technology should be embedded in every major infrastructure project,” he said.

In an apparent move to address privacy concerns, the government says it will over the next 12 months develop a data protection policy to guide how data is collected, stored and managed.

It will also develop standards around technology solutions and develop a smart places guide for precinct planners.

The state has been keen to turn NSW in a “digital capital” with recent initiatives like the launch earlier this year of a what is says is the world’s largest digital twin providing real time information and visualisations for planning.

Last month the government also launched an ICT services procurement taskforce to help small to medium vendors do business with government.  

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