Footscray Smart City for Social Cohesion

Funded

Maribyrnong City Council

Footscray, Victoria

Project stage

Completed

Timeframe

Start date: 19 November 2018
End date: 30 June 2020

Project value

Australian Government funding:
$400,000
Total:
$890,497

Partners

  • Victoria University
  • One Wi-Fi & Infrastructure
  • Delos Delta

Focus area

  • City and community planning
  • Natural environmental data and measurement (air quality, dust, noise, waterways)

Project type

  • Smart lighting
  • Community engagement
  • Public safety
  • Active lifestyle/mobility
  • Smart parking
  • Environmental monitoring
  • People movement
  • Visitor experience (information, wayfinding...)

Technology type

  • Internet of Things
  • Wi-Fi
  • Network infrastructure
  • Data Management (Data platform, open data, data privacy and security, blockchains, standards)
  • Wireless sensor networks
  • Environmental sensors
  • IT systems (interoperability)
  • Cloud computing
  • Online portal

Project summary

The Footscray Smart City for Social Cohesion Project is a collaborative initiative that leverages smart technology and open data to deliver community value—city activation, safety, economic activity, mobility, and efficiency.

The project will deploy integrated smart technologies to directly improve city performance and citizen experience. It will also create a Social Cohesion Platform that leverages open data to catalyse ongoing innovation and smart city excellence.

Key activities of this project include:

  • Installation of smart infrastructure, including new Wi-Fi access points, video analytics for traffic/mobility monitoring, environmental sensors, digital kiosks, and smart street-lights.
  • Development of the Smart City for Social Cohesion digital platform, which showcases this project and presents smart city data
  • Development of the Footscray Park Digital Experience app to showcase the project, and add a new digital dimension to how residents/visitors interact with the Park 

The challenge

Footscray is undergoing significant change. Population growth, redevelopment, gentrification, and a transitioning economy is leading to an influx of new residents, visitors, students, and businesses. Major developments will affect how people move around and the services they will want to access both from Council and Victoria University.

Solution

City performance and the citizen experience will be improved during this period of rapid change through:

  • smart mobility sensors and real time information to improve travel and traffic outcomes for community
  • smart environmental monitoring (noise, pollens and air quality) and real time information to improve health outcomes
  • smart spaces and places (with Wi-Fi, touch screens, smart lighting, and leisure based digital interactivity) to improve city activation, safety and amenity

The collection and utilisation of big/open data to create a Social Cohesion Platform, that will inform city planning, catalyse partnership and innovation, and enhance citizen experience.

Benefits

Community

  • access to real time information for travel, air quality, parking, development and consultation

Council

  • efficiency gains through better programming of essential services such as waste collections and smart lighting

Victoria University

  • ability to analyse and catalyse the data collections in order to provide the Social Cohesion platform

The Social Cohesion platform has potential for scalability. We are still working through the final specification.

Lessons learned

Overall the project is progressing in accordance with the project plan and grant agreement, noting the normal issues and risks of project management.

However, to meet overall project objectives, relating to outcomes, budgets and timing, the VR component of the project has been omitted. Other options were examined, including 3D digital city models, but these were also not feasible.

The main objective of the VR component was to showcase the project to the community and demonstrate the value of smart technology. This objective will now be delivered by the Social Cohesion Platform.

It is also worth noting the overall increase in project complexity, duration and cost, caused by the project needing to access council or other privately held assets to install smart infrastructure (as opposed to accessing ideally located lighting/electricity poles, which are owned/controlled by utility companies).

Outcomes

  • Installation of smart infrastructure, including new Wi-Fi access points, video analytics for traffic/mobility monitoring, environmental sensors, digital kiosks, and smart street-lights
  • Development of the Smart City for Social Cohesion digital platform, which showcases this project and presents smart city data
  • Development of the Footscray Park Digital Experience app to showcase the project, and add a new digital dimension to how residents/visitors interact with the Park

Contact details

Name: Zoe Blasch
Phone: 03 9688 0200
Email: business@maribyrnong.vic.gov.au