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26/04/2018
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New project to help reduce congestion in Australian suburbs

Smart Cities and Suburbs Program to help inform transport and urban planning decisions

A new project designed to help reduce congestion in our suburbs has been launched today, using data collected from pedestrian smartphones and cutting-edge traffic-counting technology to track patterns of movement in a bid to better plan cities and build infrastructure where it is most needed.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said the Smart Pedestrian Project, funded under the Turnbull Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, would help Liverpool City Council in Sydney’s west make better decisions about transport and urban planning by measuring real-time pedestrian and vehicle movements around the CBD.

“Traffic congestion is a major problem in many of our urban centres, including Liverpool, and this project is a great example of how we can better use technology and data to make our cities better places to live and work,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The data Liverpool City Council and University of Wollongong collect for this project will make a big difference in how we plan transport and pedestrian networks for this city.

"It’s also a great opportunity for other cities to see how the project rolls out, with a view to adapting the technology to their needs.

“This project is a great example of how the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program encourages collaboration between local governments, research organisations and the private sector to deliver a solution that can be applied locally and shared around the country.”

Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said it was exciting to work with the University of Wollongong's SMART Infrastructure Facility and IT Integration Company Meshed to carry out the $240,000 project.

“We call Liverpool the seven-minute city, because that is how quickly you can walk between major landmarks,” Cr Waller said.

“You could almost say Liverpool has been a smart city since it was laid out in 1827, but this brings it to a new level.

"The number of cranes around the CBD shows how rapidly we are growing, with more housing, offices and educational facilities.

“Council’s Civic Place redevelopment, which will include the new University of Wollongong campus, is expected to lead to 30,000 extra pedestrian movements per day.

“We will be using the data to plan future pedestrian and vehicle movements throughout our city to ease congestion, provide better transport options and improve health and safety.”

University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE, said it was very satisfying to be able to bring the university’s academic and technological expertise to the partnership.

“The University of Wollongong prides itself as an institution that sits right at the top of world rankings, but also retains a strong focus on the communities in which it operates,” Professor Wellings said.

“The collection of data that gives an accurate picture of pedestrian movements will allow the Council to plan effectively and enhance the liveability for all in the CBD.”

Liverpool City Council is also partnering with the Commonwealth, NSW Government and the other councils in the Western City District to improve connectivity and increase the use of smart technologies under the Western Sydney City Deal.

The City Deal was signed on 4 March 2018 and is a 20-year agreement between the three levels of government to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime transformation for the region.

The Turnbull Government's $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program has already seen $27.7 million allocated to 49 projects.

This program supports the delivery of innovative smart technology solutions
that improve the liveability, productivity and sustainability of cities and towns across Australia.

For more information visit: cities.infrastructure.gov.au/smart-cities-program

UOW IN THE NEWS 

  • Liverpool City Council is teaming up with the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong and IT integration company, Meshed, who currently collaborate with SMART as part of their Digital Living Lab, to measure pedestrian and vehicle movements around the CBD based on IoT sensors.