Adelaide’s 5 Steps to Becoming Australia’s First Smart City

With CityDisrupt, Melbourne fast approaching, Tech Exec. examines Adelaide's transition into a smart city.

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Councillor Houssam Abiad, Source: Adelaide City Council

OmniChannel Media’s 2017 Disrupt Series will kick off with CityDisrupt, Melbourne on the 22nd of February, with government and utility leaders keen to share the next step in government innovation and innovating city infrastructure.

During CityDisrupt, Melbourne, Councillor Houssam Abiad from Adelaide City Council will present insights about Adelaide’s transition towards becoming Australia’s first smart city.

With South Australia participating in many smart city projects, Tech Exec. explores the top five reasons Adelaide is set to be the first Australian city to begin their smart city revolution.

1. Australia’s First ‘Lighthouse City’

In 2015, Cisco named Adelaide the first ‘Lighthouse City’ in Australia, putting the City of Churches alongside forward-thinking cities like Dubai and Barcelona.

The ‘Lighthouse City’ is more than just a label. It means that tech giants “acknowledge the commitment and progressive agenda of its city customers” and will be sharing their resources to continue digital transformation in the city.

Cisco deploys solutions in the cities which feature many advanced technologies to improve liveability such as: city-wide wi-fi, traffic, security and lighting.

“Cisco chose Adelaide because of its strong and visionary leadership, innovation and our ability to embrace smart city technologies, particularly through our Adelaide Free Wi-Fi network,” said former Science and Information Economy Minister, Gail Gago.

2. Open to New Ideas from Around the World

In August last year, Adelaide signed a statement of intent with fellow Lighthouse City Jaipur in India with ambitions to “collaborate and share learnings around Smart City developments”.

The agreement will not only open up entrepreneurial opportunities in both cities, but will also create a platform for future international trade in the growing digital economy.

Minister for Investment and Trade, Martin Hamilton-Smith, believes the deal will only further Adelaide’s transformation into a smart city.

“We already have strong credentials in the area and support the City of Adelaide’s endeavours to collaborate and share learnings around Smart City developments with the City of Jaipur in India,” said Mr Hamilton-Smith.

3. Care about the Environment

Adelaide launched a Green City Grant Program worth $200,000 for successful applicants as they encourage more citizens, residents and businesses to become more environmentally friendly.

The program is part of an ongoing target for Adelaide to become one of the top three most liveable cities in the world by 2020.

The grant covers 50% of all green projects citizens applied for, starting at $500 for residents and $1000 for businesses and property owners, with a maximum of $10,000.

“It’s the first time the council has offered a grant of this type and the response indicates that the city residents and businesses are very enthusiastic about finding ways to help green their neighbourhoods,” said Lord Mayor Martin Haese.

4. Acknowledge and Promote Innovation

Adelaide City have their own innovation lab, accessible to the public as the council works towards the future with innovations like virtual reality (VR) and robotics.

“The Innovation Lab’s aim is to explore and foster a social environment where anyone in the community can see, share, touch and play with cool technologies and talents at the forefront of global creativity.

“Come together to collaborate on ideas, drive programs and projects and learn from each other,” it says on the council’s website.

The council’s own innovation lab indicates that Adelaide aims to be a leader of innovation who develop their own transition into a smart city.

Adelaide are conscious of their energy consumption

5. Reduce their Energy Use

Adelaide are committed to keeping their energy use to a minimum, with the council supporting projects that improve energy efficiency.

Late last year, Adelaide announced they would be changing the infrastructure of two council-owned buildings to save more than $100,000 a year.

These involve a solar PV and battery storage which will be installed at the Council’s London Road Depot, and the LED lighting in Grote Street UPark.

“Council has committed to exhaust all reasonable and cost effective carbon reduction projects in its pursuit of carbon neutral operations by 2020 and a carbon neutral city by 2025 or earlier.

“These projects will build upon the $800,000 of annual savings that previous energy efficiency projects have already secured for our community,” said the Lord Mayor.

Check out more insights from Counsellor Abiad, Adelaide and more at this year’s CityDisrupt, Melbourne.