Building a Smarter Future for ANZ
The smart city is—at least in theory—a place where every building, object, and gadget in a city, town, or council shares information to reduce the friction of red tape. Even though the technology is still developing, the smart city concept presents a new vision for public service; one that shifts the focus from bureaucracies to the residents. By combining vast amounts of data from local authorities with the latest Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, cities can create prosperous, sustainable, and safe communities.
Understanding the smart city
Developing potential smart city opportunities is easier said than done. Today’s cities need to strike a balance between the myriad needs of individual and business interests in the community, while enabling service entities to efficiently carry out their responsibilities. They have to protect user data while being open and transparent. Finally, residents want the ability to access services and information using whatever method best fits their personal preferences.When attempting to leverage technology to improve the cities of Australia and New Zealand, there’s another complication specific to the region: while an urban city may benefit greatly from improvements to transit, architecture, and energy-saving
technology, regional townships have different needs that should be addressed individually.
Acknowledging the differing needs of regional and metropolitan councils is a major priority for ANZ’s public sector organisations. In the Australian government’s recent Smart Cities Plan 1 to overhaul urban technology, the organisation provides an overarching survey of the unique needs that affect different types of cities:
“While congestion and affordability are critical issues in capital and major cities, many regional cities are suffering from low or negative growth, as jobs lost in the manufacturing sector, or more recently the resources and energy sectors, are not replaced quickly enough. We need to plan for the future of regional cities, maximizing their unique advantages and supporting their long term growth.”
While it’s true that technology stands to provide specialized benefits for ANZ’s cities based on factors like size and region, the most important principle for them to follow is that every technological tool should aim to serve the people first and foremost.