Conversations around a safe and vibrant Newcastle at night needn’t be intrinsically linked to pub and club opening hours and how to reduce statistics in alcohol-related violence in our CBD and outer suburbs. Although these numbers need to drop, the subtle social and cultural shifts that smart, civic lighting can inspire might just be a piece of the night-time strategy puzzle that the poorly lit urban landscape wasn’t able to show us until now.
You might already be excited for the rumours about local governments and telcos making moves to install LoRaWAN infrastructure in cities across Australia.
Then again, you might be like me, and have no idea what LoRaWAN is (until of course your boss asks you to write a blog about it).
You grab your phone, open an app, type in your destination and select ‘send’. A few minutes later you receive an alert, and you head out to start your journey - in a public transport bus, which has stopped right on your block.
The world seems to be caught in a spiral of collecting more and more data, with an estimate of 44 trillion gigabytes of data to be created by 2020. Data about who we are, what we do, when we do it, how and why we do it. Putting aside the question of privacy and whether or not we are getting closer to an 1984 scenario, why do we collect data? Why do we think it is a useful thing to do?
The number of people living in urban areas keeps increasing year after year, and it is estimated that 70% of the population will live in cities by 2050. Managing ever growing cities is becoming more and more challenging, with urban areas turning into day-long traffic jams and frustrating parking lots.
So how important are smart cities for urban planning and urban management?
Another city - a bit closer to home this time - taking some great steps towards becoming the next big Smart City! Adelaide has a lot of projects under way around smart parking, smart lighting and environmental monitoring.