The City of Parramatta has taken out a top gong at a Smart Cities Awards for a series of innovative projects including an environmental sensor network and Australia’s first automated flood warning system.
Parramatta was one of eighteen winners announced over seven categories in the Smart Cities Awards, presented by the Smart Cities Council Australia and New Zealand last week.
Parramatta was awarded the Leadership City Award, which recognises local governments that achieve world-class liveability, workability and sustainability outcomes through investment in technology and data solutions.
Parramatta caught the attention of the judges for four projects.
It’s sensing network, installed at the 25 hectare Melrose Park development, is able to monitor temperature, air quality, noise and stormwater run-off and is designed to both improve liveability and inform future planning. The federally funded project was developed in partnership with PAYCE and UTS
Council was also recognised for the Floodsmart flash flood warning, the first of its kind in Australia, and it’s Storybox interactive digital storytelling box in Parramatta Square, which was developed in collaboration with ABC Content Ideas Lab.
Meanwhile, its City’s CBD Parking Finder was enhanced in 2020 in response to the pandemic with real-time udates on business operating hours, services and special offers.
“Our population is on track to double in 20 years and we need to be smart about how we manage this rapid transformative growth,” said Cr Steven Issa, who is a member of Council’s Smart City Advisory Committee.
Pandemic accelerating innovation
City of Darwin took out the Policy Leadership award for its $10 million Switching on Darwin Project investing in tech infrastructure, and Moreton Bay Regional Council won the Data Leadership category for its use of AI on waste collection trucks to track road maintenance.
Lake Macquarie City Council won Future of Place for its use of technology to improve beach safety via its Smart Beaches project, and City of Casey took home the Impact Award for a digital program that helped its direct care workers stay in touch with vulnerable older residents during COVID.
City of Canterbury Bankstown earned the SDC action award for sustainable development for its use of machine learning to drive down waste contamination.
Smart Cities Council’s Executive Director Adam Beck said smart city innovators have been laying the groundwork for years but COVID-19 has accelerated smart city efforts, with more data sharing, digitally-supported services and community engagement.
“This year’s winners have played key roles in the national advancement of smart cities across Australia and New Zealand, while also leading a digitally-enabled and data-driven recovery from COVID-19,” he said in a statement.
Smart Cities Awards winners:
Policy Leadership: City of Darwin, privacy framework
Data Leadership: Moreton Bay Regional Council, AI program
Future of Place: Lake Macquarie City Council, Smart Beaches
Impact Award: City of Casey, Direct Care Workers
Smart Cities Leaders: Nicole Stephensen, Ground Up Consulting; Mayor Teresa Harding, City of Ipswich; Georgie Johnson, City of Marion; Grace de Leon, Christchurch City Council
SDC Action Award: City of Canterbury Bankstown; Closing the Loop
Smart Cities Leader: City of Parramatta
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