Realising a Smart City vision
Newcastle City Council has taken another step in its Smart City initiative with the help of global tech giant Cisco Systems.
Following a recent smart city trial in Newcastle, Cisco’s Global Managing Director for Smart Cities, Amr Salem, visited the City to discuss further preparing the area for the digital age.
Council and business improvement group Newcastle Now’s successful ‘Kaooma’ project saw the introduction of sensor technology which led drivers to vacant car parks on the street and helped businesses gain precious insights during a small-scale test.
“We have a visionary project here by Council to embark on a smart city journey and we are working with the team to develop the priorities for local citizens,” Mr Salem said of the plans to expand the initiative.
“There is a real level of excitement from Cisco about this project - that’s why we are here. In the smaller cities it’s a lot easier to do these things. Smart cities will provide sustainability from an economic, environmental and social perspective and make it easier to operate infrastructure and offer better services to citizens.”
Newcastle City Council Interim CEO Frank Cordingley agreed to work toward a heads of agreement with Salem and his colleague Bud Kapoor, Cisco’s Asia Pacific Manager for Smart and Connected Cities, who has been working with Council since 2014.
The Council is preparing Newcastle for the myriad opportunities that will arise for commerce and investment in the digital age.
Retailers will be better able to tailor business strategies, smart applications will direct drivers to empty parking spaces, residents and visitors will get real-time transport and event information via touch screens thanks to internet-linked sensors.
“Newcastle’s ambition to become a smart city is attractive to Cisco, and council’s interest, support and innovative thinking is critical to the partnership,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
“A smart city will attract investment, create new revenue streams, interactive environments and employment opportunities and bring about urban and environmental efficiencies through applications such as smart parking and intelligent lighting and waste management.
“The partnership with Cisco will also have positive implications for the entire Hunter Region as their expertise enables advances in maritime, aerospace, health, education and supply chain industries.
Tying these sectors together to make the most of the opportunities is a central part of our Smart City project.”