The smart cities world is often steeped in tech 'nerdery' — and I love it. Our members — from large global technology companies like Hitachi and Cisco, to engineering greats like Aurecon, and strategic advisory firms like EY and KPMG — are unrelenting in their pursuit to solve complex urban challenges, and help government provide the best services they can to citizens.
Fuelled by some strategic national policy in Australia (read Smart Cities Plan), the local smart cities market place is in overdrive. It would also be remiss of me not to acknowledge the incredible local government leadership in smart cities we are seeing. The level of activity is like no other in recent time. Preparing for the June 30 Smart Cities and Suburbs funding deadline is a significant driver. The recent release of the Future Ready program is also lighting up some excitement.
And then there are City Deals, probably one of the most important pieces in the Smart Cities policy puzzle currently on the table. It is a framework that builds deeper collaboration and more aligned infrastructure funding across all three tiers of government. City Deals are key, if a long term smart cities agenda is to maintain momentum in this country. And whilst it feels we are just mobilising, we are rapidly approaching the first anniversary of the Smart Cities Plan. And the reality is we are in a cycle - of funding, of politics, of excitement – and there are always vulnerabilities.
Behind the scenes, the successful implementation and deployment of smart cities technology, data platforms, start-up programs, and digital transformation plays out in an often-messy context. Leadership, funding, governance, risk, cultural and political complexities. With technology NOT the barrier, it often falls upon these other characteristics to be in place for successful smart cities outcomes.
Smart Cities Council ANZ believes a long term national smart cities policy platform is critical for the sustainable growth of our cities, the economy, and our communities. And whilst we are in somewhat of a high point in our smart cities journey, it is a clear sign we need to plan for what's next, and how we can shape it. The private sector - the supply side - is primed and ready to go.
Today, SCCANZ launches expressions of interest for its Policy and Leadership Task Force. The second of four Task Forces to be launched in 2017 (along with Built Environment, Mobility, and Social Impact), this group will play a key role in helping the Council frame its national policy and advocacy agenda for the coming years. Part of the work of this Task Force will be to ensure that we showcase best practice policy and practice, and celebrate our success.
Interest is being sought from government representatives, affiliated industry associations, academia, and leading cities policy makers and practitioners. Further information can be found here, and we look forward to your interest.
We are building a smart cities movement. Join us.