The City Council of Newcastle, in New South Wales, Australia recently endorsed the Newcastle Smart City Program – comprised of:
- Smart City Strategy – a strategic planning document that includes a range of objectives such as identifying collective vision and principles, identifying strategic themes and actions, reviewing, collating, and integrating existing work from a variety of sources, engaging with key partners, stakeholders and the general community, and, identifying relationships with existing and upcoming revitalization and renewal projects.
- Hunter Innovation Project (HIP) – a revitalization project with plans to foster economic growth and employment in the regional economy – particularly in new and emerging industries – by providing physical spaces, data connectivity, and smart infrastructure. A Smart City Infrastructure will feature digital connectivity through WiFi and LPWAN (low power wide area networks) that will link sensors and integrated technology to provide detailed real time city data. Initial applications include smart parking, smart lighting, and public WiFi. An Innovation Hub will be a dedicated facility in the city center for researchers, students, developers, entrepreneurs, investors, technical specialists and business advisors to come together to facilitate the launch of spin-offs, start-ups and mature companies, attract investment and businesses to the Hunter Region, and encourage innovation and commercialization. A Digital Precinct will be created with high speed fiber broadband which is expected to attract high-tech, digital, and creative industries to the region.
- Regional Incubator Program – a collaboration of Hunter Region business, research, technical, administrative, and entrepreneurial leadership to develop an ecosystem with a particular focus on innovation growth areas. The aim is to enhance opportunities for collaboration, innovation and commercialization, and to provide a competitive advantage for Hunter-based businesses.
“[The smart city plan] outlines the key priorities and actions to be delivered by council in its commitment to leading Newcastle’s transition to a smart and innovative city,” said the council’s smart city coordinator Nathaniel Bavinton.
“Like the long-term strategy, the smart city strategy draws on input from – and the cooperation of – all levels of government, the community, educational and research providers and business and industry sectors.”