Smart Cities Week 2023

ENE.HUB was a part of Smart Cites Week Australia & New Zealand with Digital Twin Week on 6th to 10th February in Melbourne at Swinburne University.

This coming-together of the who’s-who in smart cities, digital twin and future of place thought leadership was an energising, open dialogue on how to leverage technology to deliver better quality of life for everyone.

We were delighted to chat about connecting, activating and measuring urban life in public places and spaces.

(Image 1 from the left: Brad Beard. Image 2 top right: Ian Hatton, Brad Beard, Scott Williams, James Peet, Rosalynn Win and Milinda Wijesuriya. Image 3 bottom right: Nick Zeniou, Ian Hatton, Brad Beard and Scott Williams)

ENE.HUB’s team took part in panels and presentations that ranged from Product Development for Smart Public Spaces, Connectivity Planning for Smart Cities and Digitally Enabled Panel to Use Cases for Smart Places. Indara’s Milinda Wijesuriya was also part of a panel discussion which addressed Connecting and Powering Australia.

Wednesday 8th Feb

11:00am – Breakout Sessions (Product Development for Smart Public Spaces – Presentation by James Peet, General Manager Product Development at ENE.HUB)

Realising connectivity, safety, inclusivity, sustainability, amenity, and celebration in our public spaces can mean clutter. Beautifully designed public space elements can integrate the devices required, reduce clutter while delivering on our public realm aspirations. Product development is the process that can be part of the solution. James Peet explored the role good product design and development plays in our public spaces.

02:00pm – Breakout Sessions (Connectivity Planning – Presentation by Ian Hatton, Regional Manager QLD/NT at ENE.HUB)

Connectivity, whether enabled by fibre optic or cellular networks has never been more essential. Ian Hatton addressed the question why connectivity planning for public works isn’t given the same level of importance as other categories of infrastructure, and explored what good connectivity planning might look like.

Connectivity planning includes demand forecasting/analysis, engineering and town planning standards, pip & pipe networks, cabling, asset ownership & management models and funding & commercial models. Connectivity impacts the economy, communities and council asset managers. It is currently done by councils & land authorities, developers and third parties. The implications of the current approach causes higher costs of delivery, disruption, aesthetics and service quality. A different way to plan and deliver connectivity includes planning and designing for good connectivity, raising the importance of connectivity, and combining commercial and community outcomes. This different approach is better because it informs regional and town planning, enables world-class connectivity, attracts investment and minimises costs with focus on the outcome, which is good connectivity.

03:45pm – Panel Discussion: Connecting and Powering Australia (Moderated by Lisa Bennetto, Co-owner at The Digital Divide)

“What regional socio-economic challenges can be solved using technology as an enabler? What should we keep in mind when connecting all corners of Australia and what does the current movement to regional areas mean for infrastructure, smart solutions, and community?”

From Indara’s point of view, there was a call out to explore a multi-technology mix of solutions (to provide the most efficient connectivity) and the benefits of carrier-sharing when it comes to digital infrastructure in regional Australia to provide the best coverage, connectivity and choice for communities.

Thursday 9th Feb

11:00am – Breakout Sessions Digitally Enabled Panel (Facilitated by Ian Hatton, Regional Manager QLD/NT at ENE.HUB) 

Panelists representing four of Australia’s leading smart cities provided insights into their digital enablement journeys – how they defined digital enablement for public spaces, what they are seeking to achieve, and the benefits they are realising for their communities.

Dean spoke about how “partnerships emerged early in the program to drive project delivery”. John addressed how “data needs to be embedded in the Asset Management Plan(s) to inform investment and expenditure”. Prem noted that “Agility is an essential tool – this can be difficult for government, but is possible.” Laura provided some great insights and said “after enabling a range of projects to evolve, we are moving towards a systems approach to realise the maximum benefits”. Paul stated that “it is important to strike a balance between being strategy-led and opportunity-led”.

Friday 10th Feb – AWS Academy Day

8:30am – 11:30am block | Use Cases for Smart Places AWS Academy Day (Facilitated by Anthony Dow, Head of Local Government – ANZ at Amazon Web Services AWS)

Ian Hatton shared the latest technology and data solutions for place-led outcomes in the public realm through use cases for land authorities. He spoke about ENE.HUB’s Moreton Bay Regional Council‘s Petrie Mill precinct. Other companies who presented were SpiralData, AWS Orbica, Meshed and City of Melbourne, Christchurch City Council, and Snap Send Solve.

A special thank you to all who attended our presentations and visited our booth. We enjoyed connecting with attendees at this insightful conference.