Newcastle powers towards a digital future


The City of Newcastle has received a significant boost in it's quest to become one of Australia’s leading smart cities after being awarded a $4.9 million federal government grant.

The City of Newcastle Council has been working with partners like the University of Newcastle on a number of initiatives intended to help the city transform itself into a thriving, interconnected “digital lab”.

These initiatives include building a city-wide Wi-Fi network and installing large numbers of digital sensors to track, monitor and collect data on everything from street lights to roads, trains and buses, parking and waste management.

The grant – one of 52 awarded under the Commonwealth’s Smart Cities and Suburbs program – will be added to the $10 million co-contributed by the Newcastle City Council and its other partners from the public and private sectors.

The city’s smart lighting project will connect some 300 power poles along CBD roads and streets, making it one of the largest projects of its kind undertaken in Australia.

The projects which will receive funding include an electric vehicle hub at the city’s fringe as a park-

and-ride station, bus stops offering real-time updates, parking sensors feeding through to apps, and city-wide data analytics.

According to Newcastle’s Smart City Strategy 2017-21, “funding for Smart City initiatives will be proposed and endorsed through annual Council operational planning. Grant funding opportunities are continually being sought”.

“However, this strategy also seeks to lay appropriate groundwork for projects turning on a broader horizon measured in decades, and which will not reach fruition in the life of this strategy but in the full course of Newcastle’s emergence as a dynamic and innovative city.

A full list of the Smart Cities grant winners can be found here.

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