What exactly is a ‘Smart City’?

    A 'smart' sustainable city is an innovative city that uses information and communication technologies (ICTs) and other means to improve quality of life, efficiency of urban operations and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social and environmental aspects.

    Often these technologies will be integrated and will also involve streamlined data collection systems. For example, data could be used to analyse and monitor different services and systems provided by local government, from waste management, management of assets, information systems and across a range of community services. You may have heard the term ‘internet of things’ (IoT) which could be described as one facet of being a Smart City. The internet of things for example looks at how all physical devices (such as smart phones, home appliances, vehicles and many more) could be integrated onto a single network, in order to exchange data.

    What are the benefits of a Smart City?

    Utilising information and communication technology (ICT) and having greater integration can enhance the quality, performance and interactivity of our services, reduce costs and resource consumption, as well as increase social connections between residents and the City. As demonstrated with social media, going digital enables real-time responses, an expectation that is becoming more prevalent in our ‘switched’ on society. Working smarter and embracing digital technology also aligns with the Information and Communication Technology Strategy and Customer Service Strategies we have recently developed. With the roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN) currently taking place across the City of Kalamunda, over the next few years our communities will have access to high speed internet. We are also seeing an increased demand for online services and experiences, with many people embracing the convenience that services such as e-commerce or online shopping has to offer. We can also improve how we as a City communicate and interact online, using the internet as another platform to extend our engagement. With our social media platforms, websites and online engagement portal, we are already beginning that journey, but there is the potential for much more.

    How will this benefit our community?

    Communities will benefit through greater connectivity, with not only the Council but also with members within their community. The internet and social media has led to huge changes in the way we communicate, with messages no longer being a passive one-way or two-way process, but a multi-channel process, with each individual now given the power to share messages with their networks through e-WOM (electronic word of mouth), to even publishing their own content.

    Further integration ICT and digital technologies will connect communities more than ever, as well as giving them more access to resources and online services, and enabling them to carry out their operations more efficiently.

    What will this cost? Will it have an impact on rates?

    At this point, we are seeking ideas and aspirations from the community in order to help is to envision what Kalamunda as a Smart City would look like. Once we have obtained feedback and start to get a sense of what we are hoping for as a City, further investigations and studies will be undertaken to determine what can be integrated from existing systems, and what needs to improved. Costings will be built into the Digital Strategy as it develops, which will always be presented to the community for their feedback.

    Anyone else becoming a Smart City?

    In Australia, several local governments have become Smart Cities and have adopted digital strategies for the future. In 2017, the City of Armadale has also developed and adopted their digital strategy, which outlines their Smart City vision for 2017-2022.

    ·  Lake Macquarie City Council – Lake Mac Smart City, Smart Council, Digital Economy Strategy 2016-2020

    ·  City of Parramatta – Smart City Master Plan 2015

    ·  City of Adelaide Smart City

    ·  City of Armadale – Digital Strategy 2017-2022

    How can I provide feedback?

    The City of Kalamunda is encouraging everyone to provide feedback.

    Online: http://engage.kalamunda.wa.gov.au 

    Hard copies are available at the City of Kalamunda Office, from all City libraries and can be submitted by:

    By post:  City of Kalamunda, PO Box 42, Kalamunda WA 6926

    In person:  Administration, 2 Railway Road, Kalamunda WA 6076
    By email:  

    Comments close 5:00pm Friday 2 March 2018.