Decluttering the smart city

Today’s urban infrastructure is well and truly digital, and the term Smart Cities has become a buzzword of the times.

Smart City infrastructure is developing rapidly, resulting in better management of a city’s assets and improved efficiencies in the provision of services and deployment of resources.

But there’s a downside too. The myriad of new technology items can result in street clutter and a loss of pedestrian areas.

Not only this, but the technology that is best practice today is likely to be obsolete in a relatively short time, requiring replacement technologies to be integrated into the streetscape.

The answer to this lies in new pole technology.

The new multi-function pole is designed as a pole with a capacity to carry a large range of competing technologies and the flexibility to have applications removed, relocated and retro-fitted over time.

A leading Australian manufacturer of smart and multi-function poles is Urban Aluminium, part of the GM Poles Group, Australia’s largest pole manufacturer.

UA director Ian Hutchinson says he’s often asked what sets the multi-function pole apart from your garden variety smart pole.

“At a recent Smart Cities Conference that showcased amazing electronics I was questioned why our Multi-Function pole was being displayed at electronics show,” Mr Hutchinson says.

 “My response was simple. All these smart technologies need to be housed somewhere in the streetscape and multi-function poles offer a solution.

“The follow up question was ‘surely these applications could be mounted on any existing street pole’.

“True, to an extent, but traditional light poles are designed to take a specific load and banners, video displays, sensors and telco equipment could exceed the structural capacity of the pole and its foundations.

“Further, feedback from our council customers in this regard, indicates that there is a dislike of the appearance of a standard light pole with a mass of items located on it on a haphazard basis.”

To discover more about Urban Aluminium’s Smart Poles and decorative aluminium poles please visit

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