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Just how ‘city smart’ are local governments in Queensland?

Tan Yigitcanlar and colleagues write in The Conversation (28.11.18) about their research into the ‘smart city’ planning movement, manifested locally in the federal government’s urban policies and City Deals. The authors’ study of all 78 local government areas in Queensland reveals major gaps between the ten leading the way in becoming smart cities and the rest of the state.

‘Many places around the world claim to be a “smart city”, but what that means is often unclear. A smart city is widely seen as an urban area that uses technology to enhance performance and the quality of its services. In other words, it’s a happy marriage of technology and the city.

‘Before we look at what is being planned in Australia and what is being done overseas, an important question is: How smart are our cities now? The answer enables our cities to benchmark where we are now and then track progress over time. We recently conducted a study to evaluate the smartness of all local government areas in Queensland.

‘Queensland and Australian cities are responding to a global trend, with the Australian government releasing a Smart Cities Plan in 2016.

‘A snapshot of Australian initiatives in 2017 revealed over a dozen local governments had strongly embraced the smart city agenda. A couple of dozen are finalising strategies. More than 100 are considering undertaking a smart city journey.

‘… There is a demonstrated need for smart city projects to generate a range of desired outcomes – economic, societal, environmental and governance – in a sustainable, balanced and inclusive manner. An integrated, holistic approach is the way forward in Queensland and across Australia.’

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