Australia home to three of the world’s 21 smartest cities

City of Adelaide

Three Australian cities have been recognised among the world’s top 21 smart cities.

Adelaide, Prospect and the Sunshine Coast have won places among ‘Smart21’, administered by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a global think tank.

This is the third consecutive year of making the Smart21 for the City of Adelaide, and marks a significant step to greater recognition as an Intelligent Community.

The Smart21 of 2020 are as follows:

  • Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  • Binh Duong Smart City, Vietnam
  • Chiayi City, Taiwan
  • Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil
  • Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
  • Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Hudson, Ohio, USA
  • Issy les Moulineaux, France
  • Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
  • Markham, Ontario, Canada
  • Matsu, Taiwan
  • Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Prospect, South Australia, Australia
  • Rochester, New York, USA
  • Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
  • Tallinn, Estonia
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • Westerville, Ohio, USA
  • Whanganui, New Zealand
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

The Smart21 Communities are selected by ICF based on quantitative and qualitative data submitted to the Forum and developed by independent research, which is evaluated by a group of analysts.

The analysis is based on the ICF Method, which provides the conceptual framework for understanding the factors that determine a community’s competitiveness in economic, social and cultural terms.

The award was announced in Rochester, New York on 22 October 2019. This year the top 21 Intelligent Communities were from 10 nations including Issy-les-Moulineaux, France and Rochester, New York.

The 21 cities all demonstrate evidence of strong government, business and community collaboration that helps these cities prosper.

Adelaide’s ecosystem of innovation

Adelaide Lord Mayor, Sandy Verschoor, said it was a huge honour to be recognised alongside global leaders in the smart city space.

“Smart cities are people-focused and Adelaide is a city focused on creating an ecosystem of open and citizen-driven innovation to generate new standards in the way people live, learn, work and do business,” Cr Verschoor said.

“Making a city smarter is all about making cities and regions work better to increase the economic and social wellbeing of their communities.

“The idea of smart cities goes beyond the application of technology – it is about increasing liveability and improving sustainability through better planning and connectivity. These technologies are helping to improve community and business outcomes, as well as enhance the visitor experience to our city.

Cr Verschoor said Adelaide had positioned itself well in the smart city space on the back of its world-leading Ten Gigabit Adelaide fibre optic network and we consistently embed smart technology into our city’s infrastructure.

The next step in the Intelligent Community awards cycle is the selection of a ‘Top 7’ and the world leader is announced in June 2020.

“Our fingers are crossed that we will go beyond this ‘semi-final’ stage to make the Top 7 in the next few months and that we can ultimately be crowned as world leader,” she said.

“Making the Smart21 and, hopefully progressing much further, helps put Adelaide in the spotlight as we seek to have more people live, work, visit and invest here.”

City of Prospect’s global connectivity recognised

The City of Prospect’s key achievements in the past 12 months have been:

  • Establishing GigCity Adelaide in Prospect
  • Prospect Fast WiFi public service
  • Digital Marketing Campaign for Prospect Road
  • Connected Cities project with four other councils

City of Prospect Mayor David O’Loughlin, said Prospect had been on a digital journey for the past ten years and has received seven awards for being in the top 21 intelligent communities in the world, as judged by the International Intelligent Communities Forum.

“What distinguishes Prospect from other cities is our strong focus on economic development and our award winning Digital Economy Strategy has led to the creation programs of Smart City initiatives such as our GigCity Precinct, a range of digital marketing which have significantly increased visitation to Prospect,” Cr O’Loughlin said.

“Additionally, we are gaining national recognition for our collaboration with other councils and our community. In particular, our new Connected Cities initiative which is the result of sharing knowledge and networks over five councils as we use sensors to gather information about our recreation spaces to understand demand and improve our service delivery.”

Sunshine Coast’s three-year plan pays dividends

In December 2016, the Sunshine Coast adopted a Smart City Framework and Smart City Implementation Program (SCIP). Both documents outlined a three-year rolling program of smart city solutions to be installed at key locations across the region.

Creating a smart city has many benefits for ratepayers and the environment including:

  • Improved service delivery and quality of lifestyle for residents
  • Reducing carbon emissions, traffic congestion and energy use
  • Increasing safety
  • Attracting more investment and business, increasing employment opportunities and increasing local business competitiveness
  • Improved town planning and designing
  • Attracting and retaining investment and increases local business competitiveness

The measures are in response to economic, environmental and population growth challenges facing Sunshine Coast region. The Council is looking for ways to use technology create improved services and quality of lifestyle for residents. It also wants to become Australia’s most renewable region.

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