Newscastle awarded AU$5million Australian Government technology grant to deliver on-demand, city-wide digital services

Featured image by Tim licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Newcastle has been awarded a AU$5million Australian Government technology grant to ‘switch on’ city-wide, on-demand digital services. The Smart Move Newcastle project has been announced as one of 52 successful projects totalling AU$28.5million under Round One of the Australian Government’s inaugural Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

Under the Program, funding will flow to communities across Australia, with 40% of successful projects located in regional areas. 

Newcastle City Council will partner with a consortium of technology businesses, to provide an integrated network for transport, energy and digital infrastructure, building on efforts to transform the city into a ‘living digital lab’. The funding will support initiatives including:

  • an electric vehicle hub at the fringe of the city centre as a park and ride, with chargers for electric cars, e-bikes for hire and on-demand bus transport offering a personalised service for the user
  • bus stops with technology to provide users with real time information - how long till next bus, how many seats will be available
  • roads and intersections with real-time traffic analysis - for example, emergency vehicles get green lights
  • parking sensors to provide data on parking availability via apps
  • sensors into older buildings to monitor and manage energy use
  • cameras in light poles to analyse cloud coverage to estimate solar energy production
  • city-wide data analytics platform, collecting data from sensor networks, vehicles and people - these insights can then be supplied via apps and dashboards to help people make decisions such as: do I leave for work now or wait 15 minutes? do I open my business later because there's a lot of pedestrian traffic at my front door at 6pm?

In addition to the Australian Government’s AU$5 million contribution, the City of Newcastle along with a substantial number of partners will contribute AU$10 million to see the project become a reality. The AU$50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program is a key element of the Government’s Smart Cities Plan.

Round One of the AU$50 million program received more than 170 applications.

Details on each of the 52 successful projects are available on the Smart Cities website.

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