International honours for Smart City success

A brace of awards at the IDC Smart Cities Asia-Pacific Awards has confirmed City of Newcastle’s standing as a leading smart city.

The Smart City Infrastructure component of the Hunter Innovation Project (HIP) was announced outright winner of the ‘Land Use and Planning’ category among an illustrious field of contenders including Singapore.

The City’s Smart Moves Newcastle – Mobility Projects also shared top honours in the ‘Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, Public Transit and Rideshare’ category with Chinese tech powerhouse Shenzhen.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the twin wins, which follow the Smart City of the Year Metropolitan prize in May, proved Newcastle’s modernisation wasn’t going unnoticed internationally.

“Of the seven Australian projects nominated as finalists in the 2019 round of the IDC Smart City awards, Newcastle was the only city to come away with wins,” the Lord Mayor said.

“It speaks volumes to our growing stature that we are mixing it with, and beating, established Asia-Pacific smart cities like Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Busan, Auckland, Taipei and Singapore.”

Now in its fifth year, the IDC smart cities awards honour the initiatives implemented by Asia-Pac cities to use technology to improve operations and better serve citizens. The awards are judged by IDC experts, an international advisory panel and a public vote.

This $7 million three-year HIP project forms part of the broader $17 million collaboration of smart city ideas, facilities and infrastructure by City of Newcastle, the NSW Government, University of Newcastle, Newcastle Now and Hunter DiGiT.

HIP has introduced smart city technology into the city’s public spaces, including communications networks connecting Australia’s largest installation of smart poles, smart lighting, free public WiFi and a soon-to-launch environmental sensor network, and Internet of Things (IoT) lab.

“The digital technologies and sensor capabilities enabled through the Hunter Innovation Project’s smart city infrastructure are a game-changer for the City,” the Lord Mayor said.

“This technology forms infrastructure capable of powering intelligent economic growth.

“It’ll help us manage our city based on data, and attract innovators, businesses and industries who want to be part of our digital revolution.”

The Smart Moves Newcastle – Mobility Project is using technology-enabled infrastructure, such as EV charging stations, smart bus stops and bike sharing programs, while introducing new modes of transport, including a driverless vehicle.

The project is funded by a $5 million grant though the Federal Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs program and delivered with Transport for NSW, Keolis Downer Hunter, Bykko, and research programs by the University of Newcastle studying behaviours and prototyping new sensor technology.

For more information on the IDC Smart Cities Asia-Pacific Award, visit https://www.idc.com/ap/smartcities/

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