Scroll down to read the latest news and trends in the smart cities space. Also check out timely articles about Compassionate Cities.

On trust, privacy and security: What 2019 needs to do


The Smart Cities Council asked some of its partners and friends to express their views and recommendations on how government organisations can build more trust with their constituents around smart cities investments, and create an environment where the opportunities and benefits of technology and data solutions can thrive. Here's what they had to say...

2019 events and training not to be missed


Each year SCCANZ supports important smart and sustainable cities events and training that we believe help accelerate investment in smarter, more sustainable cities. Here are the top five events and two training opportunities being delivered by our partners and supporting organisations that are helping build change, and are not to be missed.

Cities no longer need to fly blind


In honour of Smart Cities Week Australia the Smart Cities Council Emerging Innovators are reflecting on the four themes: connected, aware, accelerate and compassion. This week’s post on the theme of ‘aware’ from Emerging Innovator Claire Daniel reflects that, for the first time in history, smart cities are letting city officials know whether what they are doing is working and why.

Local Government Smart Cities Network launched!


Following confirmation from local government representatives from across Australia and New Zealand at the recent Smart Cities Week Australia event in Sydney (29-31 October), Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand has launched a coordinated effort to build a local government-led networking platform across the region.

MEDIA RELEASE: Australia and New Zealand development industry set for smart upgrade


Released as part of Smart Cities Week Australia in Sydney, the Code for Smart Communities is a new benchmark for urban development practices across greenfield communities, urban regeneration precincts and diverse institutional campuses.

Accelerating the cities of the future


In the lead up the Smart Cities Week the Smart Cities Council Emerging Innovators are reflecting on the four themes: connected, aware, accelerate and compassion. This week’s post on the theme of ‘accelerate’ from Emerging Innovator Angela Chan looks at the three factors of workability, liveability and sustainability that will accelerate how we are shaping cities of the future.

Garbage Trucks: good for picking up waste… and signals of a smart city?


In the lead up the Smart Cities Week the Smart Cities Council Emerging Innovators are reflecting on the four themes: connected, aware, accelerate and compassion. This week’s post on the theme of ‘connected’ from Emerging Innovators Chris Rowlands and Claire Daniel outlines the latest instalment in the ongoing development of the Bendigo Internet of Things network and how this technology is using the humble garbage truck to connect silos in city management.

What does the digital future for place making and property developers look like?


Lendlease is investing in living laboratories where employees can test, tweak, learn and refine how technology and data can best accelerate sustainable outcomes while creating the best places for people. In this article we track the evolution of this global company from green building czar, to setting a benchmark as a smart communities innovator.

Welcome to the most densely monitored urban environment in the world


In the years since one of our regions most deadliest earthquakes rocked New Zealand, Christchurch has been future-proofing its systems and services against future earthquakes and other resilience challenges like climate change by becoming a testbed for technological innovation.

Smart Cities Week Australia Startup Pitch Fest: Apply Now!


If you have a startup focused on improving communities, apply to pitch your solution at Smart Cities Week Australia, 29-31 October in Sydney. Over two sessions on October 30 and 31, selected startups will pitch to an audience of city shapers, councils and providers of urban services.

Five Australian cities vie for coveted smart city leadership award


Brisbane, Adelaide, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast and Canterbury-Bankstown have been shortlisted for the top prize at the inaugural Australian Smart Cities Awards. The awards, to be held as part of Australia’s first Smart Cities Week from 29-31 October, will recognise and reward leadership, celebrate best practice and stimulate action to advance the smart cities movement.

Smart cities standards update: more ways for cities to measure their performance


The first set of standards for smart cities was published to give cities a consistent way to measure their performance, share data and learn from each other as they planned and developed smart city projects. Now, an updated standard provides even more ways for cities to measure how well they're meeting their commitments to sustainable, resilient urban environments.

SCCANZ in action: And like that, it's been two years


The Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand has experienced two years of steady growth and accomplishment. And there's much more to come. Read on to learn how the Council is continuing its mission: guiding cities to successful smart city project completion — and the new approaches we're adding to help ensure that success.

MEDIA RELEASE: Opposition’s proposed City Partnerships hits spot, with national urban policy embracing convergence of sustainability and smart technology


A proposed refresh of the Opposition’s National Urban Policy to acknowledge the role of technology and data could make the difference between Australia building good cities or great cities, says the peak body representing the smart cities movement in Australia.

The ASEAN Smart Cities Network Project Plans


The ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) has been established as a collaborative platform where up to three cities from each ASEAN member state, including capitals, work towards the common goal of smart and sustainable urban development. The Action Plans for each of the 25 participating cities have been released, highlighted the priorities and support each city is seeking.

Is the planning profession ready for the future?


If urban planning is to remain effective in guiding the development and growth of the technology-laden smart cities of the future, planners will likely have to become more tech-savvy to make the most of new forms of data and its sources in their decision making. Read our story for key insights from Wellington planner David Batchelor.

Introducing Smart Cities Project Activator: online portal to scope and fund smart city projects!


The Smart Cities Council is preparing to launch the Smart Cities Project Activator -- an innovative, web based solution, that brings cities, solutions providers and investors together to more quickly scope — and finance — smart cities projects. Learn how.

MEDIA RELEASE: New carbon positive roadmap will drive smart buildings market


The launch of the property and construction industry’s landmark carbon positive roadmap will slam the accelerator on Australia’s smart cities market, says the Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand. The Roadmap outlines an ambitious set of targets and actions which will support the built environment’s transition to net zero emissions by 2050.

Reinventing city services in the digital age


Digital may be an afterthought in some cities, but a handful of forward-thinking cities are reinventing the way they provide services to their citizens. They are going digital. And in doing so, they are saving money and reducing costs, boosting citizen engagement and satisfaction, enhancing employee productivity and carving out a new competitive space in the global knowledge economy.

Can an April Fools’ Day joke get your council excited about smart cities?


This year, Tesla’s Elon Musk declared bankruptcy, actor Seth Rogen signed his life over to Netflix and Where's Wally found his way into Google Maps. Tech companies understand the power of April Fools' Day to engage their audiences. But can an April Fools’ Day joke on Facebook get the community excited about a local council’s business plan?

Urbanisation – Unprecedented demographic shift or another bubble?


Cities need to offer more than tangible things like job opportunities and enhanced mobility to make them attractive to current and new residents. Guest author Janine Betz shares her insights on why cities should focus on ensuring that residents feel like they belong there, that they have a sense of 'place.'

SCCANZ in action: Smart urban development, defined


The goal for smart urban development is sustainability. But how do we get there? As part of our efforts to help the development industry achieve the best possible outcomes we’re offering guidance to help the industry achieve sustainability in a way that benefits people, the planet and the economy.

New Zealand's smart cities efforts shortlisted for Asia-Pacific awards (yet again)


New Zealand won several awards and substantial recognition in an Asia-Pacific competition last year for the quality and relevance of its smart cities initiatives. Early indications are the country's smart cities efforts could claim more awards in the 2018 competition.

Higher-density cities are coming. How do we ensure they're healthy cities, too?


With city populations growing quickly, higher-density development is inevitable. But how do we ensure those high-density environments are healthy places to live and work? Read on to learn about a group of researchers determined to get the answers to that question.

Dijon is on: Creating a smart cities platform to operate the French city’s infrastructure


A multi-community information technology collaboration on street lighting, traffic management and public safety is expected to yield numerous benefits for citizens and reduce operating costs for their local governments. Watch the video to learn how.

SCCANZ in action: Counting down to the inaugural Australia/New Zealand Smart Cities Readiness Challenge


City leaders who want to move their smart city agendas forward now have the opportunity to make meaningful progress: SCCANZ's Smart Cities Readiness Challenge. It will be launching very soon, so click to learn more about this exciting opportunity.

MEDIA RELEASE: National Smart Cities Awards Program Announces Jury and Award Categories


Australia's first dedicated smart cities awards program continues to build momentum with the announcement of the Awards Jury and the award categories today. Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand (SCCANZ) announced in 2017 its intention to facilitate the awards program, with the reception now confirmed to be hosted during Smart Cities Week in Sydney on Tuesday 30th October 2018.

Australia turns on world's first 5G Wi-Fi hot spots (and yes, it's a big deal)


Australian telecom Telstra has turned on what is said to be the world's first 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hot spots available to the public as part of an evaluation of its next generation technology. Click for details and why it's such an important development for smart cities.

Smart Cities Week Australia - Sponsorship is Open!


In the fast-paced and rapidly-evolving smart cities space, everyone must have an eye on the horizon. In a sector where ‘What’s next?’ is the question, Smart Cities Week Australia is the answer. Do you want to associate your brand with the region's premium smart cities event? — Then you can’t afford to miss the opportunity to sponsor Smart Cities Week Australia.

Digital Built Australia in practice (how we can transform the built environment)


Technology and data solutions are essential for optimising the smart cities built environment of the future. And it takes sound policies to ensure that those tools are used wisely and consistently, as the three articles by ANZSCC Partners included here explain.

Commentary: BIM's big promise and five considerations to get it right


Building and Information Modelling holds tremendous promise for how we approach the smart cities built environment. But it hasn't yet fully 'arrived.' Guest author Matthew Mackay of Council Associate Partner Arcadis shares five elements to consider on how to make it deliver as it should.

Commentary: The drive for a 'Digitally Built' Australia


The need for a forward-thinking approach to the design and delivery of Australia's built environment is clear: It is key to helping the country meet some of the many challenges it faces, including demographic pressure, energy demand, transport inefficiency, housing needs and climate change.

Community solar gardens: a sharing approach to cutting energy costs


Rooftop solar and energy storage are becoming increasingly popular with Australians as a way to trim rising electricity costs. But what are renters and apartment dwellers supposed to do? They're rarely able or willing to install solar panels on a home they don't own. That's where community solar gardens can help.

MEDIA RELEASE: Top industry groups cooperate to accelerate smart cities and communities rollout


Moves to see Australia create more smart cities and communities will be accelerated with the announcement that the Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand (SCCANZ) and the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA) have signed a far-reaching cooperation agreement.

MEDIA RELEASE: Consult Australia and Smart Cities Council team-up for new smart cities guide


The ‘Smart Cities Guide for Built Environment Consultants’ is the result of a collaboration between Consult Australia, the Smart Cities Council (ANZ) and their respective members. It defines and sets out the functions of a smart city and includes a checklist for collaboration across the sector.

MEDIA RELEASE: Smart cities peak body calls for digital transformation of built environment


SCCANZ mobilises its policy activities for 2018, starting with the release of its Digital Built Australia policy primer outlining a suite of policy recommendations for building greater productivity within the construction sector and accelerating the reduction of built environment related greenhouse gas emissions through the greater adoption of technology and data solutions.

MEDIA RELEASE: Australia’s first Smart Cities Week takes shape: 29-31 October 2018 in Sydney


Smart Cities Week, the global event of the Smart Cities Council, will make its way to Australia in late October 2018. The Council, which is the largest global coalition of smart cities companies, practitioners and policy makers, has announced today that its signature event will take place in Sydney from 29-31 October.

Is a renewable energy boom in Australia's future?


Investment in grid-scale energy storage and renewable energy in Australia jumped in 2017 to the point where the country is now one of the top 10 globally for renewables investment. Numerous benefits are expected, including lower electric bills — and that will be much appreciated in a country that currently has the world's highest power prices.

Mobile augmented reality: The urban experience we have been waiting for


How we experience the city, how we access information, how we manage our city’s assets and how we deliver services to the community is about to change thanks to mobile augmented reality. We spoke with the CEO of Council Partner CivicConnect, which has been pioneering a mobile AR platform to understand what's next for the urban experience.

Collaboration is king in smart cities: Our interview with Katherine Tobias


To kick off the Smart Cities Pulse series for 2018, we sat down with emerging smart cities leader Katherine Tobias of Partner KPMG's Internet of Things practice, to hear her views on smart cities now, new and next. Among other topics covered, we spoke about standards, collaboration, governance and the importance of engaging young future leaders.

MEDIA RELEASE: Peak smart cities body partners with leading global design, technology and management company


Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand (SCCANZ) has announced its latest industry partnership, with Cyient, a global provider of engineering, manufacturing, geospatial, network and operations management solutions.

Data in the Smart City – The lightbulb moment when you understand we need to develop a Data Culture


Data alone can't do much to help us achieve our smart city goals. That's why guest author Chris Isles of Council Associate Partner Place Design Group believes we need to create a 'data culture' around the outcomes and solutions data can provide for us rather than the data itself.

SCCANZ In Action: 2017's greatest hits


As the year comes to a close, it's a time for looking back and assessing what we've accomplished. For the Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand 2017 was a hectic but very productive year. It was a year of new partnerships and collaboration, working with cities on their smart city plans and technology investments — and much more.

How Perth is setting the stage for driverless cars in Australia


With a successful driverless bus trial under their belts, the RAC of Western Australia, the state government and their vehicle manufacturing partner are taking another step forward: trials of driverless cars that will provide on-demand transportation services like those offered by Uber and Lyft.

Every Building, IoT Enabled: Our Interview with Beth Worrall


As part of our continued showcasing of smart cities leaders across the region, we caught up with Buddy Platform’s Marketing Manager, Beth Worrall. During the interview, we touched on everything from the smart building movement, IoT equity and climate change. A summary of our conversation is presented in this article.

Good news for AU smart cities projects: the federal grants are flowing


The winning proposals in the first round of the Australian government's Smart Cities and Suburbs Program have been chosen and the federal cash is flowing. Read on to learn about what some cities will be doing to make their communities more liveable, sustainable and safe.

Smart Cities Now, and Next: Our Interview with Catherine Caruana-McManus


SCCANZ spoke recently to Catherine Caruana-McManus, someone who has been close to the smart cities movement both globally, but also here locally in Australia for many years. As Director of Sales Strategy for IoT integrator Meshed and the Workstream Chair for Smart Cities and Industries for the Internet of Things Alliance Australia, she remains active in the advancement of the digital economy and the sustainability of our cities.

Going 'Glocal' - Local start-ups partnering for global impact


SCCANZ facilitated a workshop with global tech company SAP for SMEs and start-ups with Austrade and QUT. The goal was to explore opportunities for helping Australian businesses with niche technology offerings for smart cities to scale up and go global. Read on for more on the session's outcomes.

Smart precincts: A conversation with the development industry


Large-scale smart city projects require substantial planning and coordination. Smaller district and precinct-scale projects do, too. And as a discussion at Smart Cities Week made clear, sustainable precinct projects represent an important evolution in planning strategies and urban design.

Melbourne's new startup accelerator = a big boost for smart energy (and smart cities)


Melbourne's startup scene is heating up with the recent launch of a startup accelerator program for companies working in energy, data analytics and more — and the announcement that candidates have been selected to participate in a separate IoT accelerator program. Click for details.

MEDIA RELEASE: Peak body announces smart cities awards program, appoints industry expert as program chair


Australia’s first national Smart Cities Awards program was announced today at a gathering of industry leaders in Sydney, hosted by the Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand (SCCANZ), the peak body representing the smart cities movement in Australia. Speaking at a smart cities workshop in Sydney, SCCANZ Executive Director Adam Beck, announced the awards program, and the appointment of David Singleton as the program’s inaugural Chair.

How Wellington's getting smart about monitoring water quality


Bad weather has made collecting water quality and related data in Wellington Harbour challenging for scientists in the past. But through an innovative combination of technologies the scientists don’t need to worry about the weather now—because the data they need is just a phone call away.

New ways to 'listen' to your citizens (Think big data and social analytics)


Knowing what your citizens really think is essential for the development of sustainable, liveable smart cities. And knowing how they really feel is even better. Several experts are suggesting that applying social analytics to social media will get us closer to that goal than the approaches we're using now.

SCCANZ in Action: Where the digital and built environment worlds meet


It's been a busy week for the Council as we met with Council Partners and other stakeholders to work toward a better understanding of the best ways to integrate digital systems with the built environment. Read on to learn more about what we're doing to optimise the potential of smart cities.

Ripe for growth: Amid world food crisis, agtech to the rescue


A Singapore news site calls agriculture technology “the new farming tool to boost food security.” Venture arms of tech giants Qualcomm and Cisco recently invested in an Israeli digital ag startup. New Zealand farmers are cutting costs with IoT technology from Schneider Electric. Clearly agtech is booming; read why it matters.

Does your city measure up? National Cities Performance Framework update


The Australian government has been working on a program to gauge how the country's largest cities are performing in a variety of areas (think housing and liveability, for example). Now that program details are available, we thought you'd like to know where it's headed.

SCCANZ in Action: Understanding smart cities standards is essential – and we can help


There's a rich global array of smart cities standards available for the asking. But we need an in-depth understanding of those standards before we can gain the most from them. Read our story to learn about a just-released Guidance Note designed to help raise awareness of the importance of standards and their benefits.

MEDIA RELEASE: Peak body releases smart cities standards guideline, calls for shared purpose and scaling within market


To raise awareness of what smart cities standards and frameworks are available, SCCANZ released a guidance note that provides foundational information on global smart cities standards and frameworks.

From apps to arms to spendy cleanups: Is there a right way to handle homeless camps?


Homeless camps have grown 30% in Oakland in the last two years. They're growing in Honolulu too, prompting one councilman to propose armed park rangers to keep public spaces safe. Is that the solution? Are there better ones? Learn what cities from Anchorage to Sydney are doing.

New report: How IoT can transform New Zealand's cities into safer, more liveable cities


As more and more businesses, industries and cities realise the value and potential for IoT, uses for connected technologies continue to proliferate. A new report from a New Zealand tech alliance outlines several examples of how IoT can help the country's cities become safer and more desirable.

What's a Ten Gigabit City, you ask? It's a head start to the future, says Adelaide


The city of Adelaide has very high hopes for its gigabit city network. Not only do city officials anticipate the city will operate faster and with more agility as it provides enhanced products and services — they expect businesses new and old will benefit greatly as well.

Is your data valuable? Sure (if you've got the analytics to turn it into gold)


Leaders in Australia's property sector know big data is important to their industry. But they will need to change their thinking by fully incorporating analytics into their planning and operations if they expect to wring the most value out of that data.

Battling diabetes: Tech giants, inventors, mayors and service clubs are on the front lines


As the world’s diabetes epidemic worsens, IBM, Qualcomm and Microsoft technologies have joined the battle. Columbus, Georgia’s mayor has signed on. So have 47,000 Lions Clubs. And then there's Dana Lewis; don't miss what she's doing to help diabetes sufferers like herself.

Rubbish begone: One Australian city's innovative approach to taking out the trash


While sensor-equipped collection bins help cities manage trash collection more efficiently and cost-effectively, one of the features of an ambitious central business district upgrade in Maroochydore eliminates the need to roll trucks to collect it. Read on to learn more.

Why New Zealand's government is investing in discarded tyres (Hint: it's about sustainability)


About five million used tyres are tossed into New Zealand tyre dumps every year, creating a variety of problems for the cities where they're located. How to solve the problem? The New Zealand Government is providing funding and research to turn those discarded tyres into concrete and building materials.

Is Australia finally going to get high-speed rail?


An Australia-based consortium announced a plan last year to build a high-speed rail network to connect Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney – and eight commuter smart cities. Now that the details of the plan have been filled in, the proposal will be sent to the federal government at the end of this month.

SCCANZ In Action: You know about the Maroochydore City Centre development, right?


A new city centre regeneration project on Queensland's Sunshine Coast hasn't been getting a lot of attention. But it's proving to be a model for how to use technology as an accelerator for sustainability. Click to learn more. It could be the right fit for your smart city plans.

How one research institute intends to fix the smart cities "growth problem"


Rapid population growth causes a variety of problems for cities: overcrowded roads, overburdened health care systems, inadequate affordable housing and many more. They aren't easy challenges to deal with, but a new research institute is betting its collaborative strategy will find the right solutions.

New UK report offers insights on technologies that battle social isolation and loneliness


Innovative technologies can improve the physical and mental well-being of people who suffer from loneliness and lack of social connections. A new report highlights examples, such as Australia's InTouch Living system.

The Big Hairy Audacious Goal for Street Lighting and Smart Controls in Australia and New Zealand


Could an EU ‘Humble Lamppost’ type program in Australia and New Zealand be the key ingredient to unleashing a smart street lighting and controls revolution in the region and accelerate IoT deployment? Well, yes!

MEDIA RELEASE: Aurecon Joins Smart Cities Council to Support the Digital Transformation of Cities in Australia and New Zealand


Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand announced today that global design firm Aurecon had joined the organisation to help accelerate sustainability in cities using technology, data, and intelligent design.

Water utilities: Dump your old business model (because you need a new one now)


We're in a water crisis. In about 10 years, the UN says two-thirds of the world's population will face water stress: lower quality water and less of it. As excruciating as it may be for conservative, risk-averse water utilities, it's going to take a complete re-evaluation of how they do business if water quality is to be preserved. Read the story for some tough advice from an industry professional.

New app promises to find extra parking spaces for your downtown


Cities are experimenting with several smart approaches to reduce congestion and solve parking problems. But what about all those vacant spaces in parking garages? An Australian businessman has some thoughts about that, and what he has to say just might interest city managers looking for ways to reduce congestion and find more parking for their residents.

How smart cities developers are getting smart about construction


Some of the technologies that make smart cities so effective can also pay off during their construction. Learn how Saudi Arabia developers are using mobile technology, why RFID has proven a construction site game-changer in Australia and how China is tapping supercomputers to make construction more cost-efficient.

Big WiFi project underscores Adelaide’s endless quest for livability


The city of Adelaide can now boast that it runs the largest free WiFi network in Australia, with help from Cisco. But that claim only touches the surface of what’s happening in the capital city of South Australia, where “livability” has become the mantra of public officials. Learn why.

Smart cities researchers simulate human behavior during floods


Many of the most exciting smart city possibilities relate to predictive analytics -- crunching data to forecast what will happen next. But there's always been a "blind spot" in how to predict and simulate human decisions, especially during unexpected events. Learn how Australian researchers are making progress on that front.