Building a city smartly

Article image - Building a city smartly UTSí Andrew Tovey and Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson at Melrose Park, with Council, PAYCE and UTS representatives. Photograph courtesy George Gittany Photography.

The City of Parramatta, New South Wales, will be the field laboratory for ground breaking smart climate neighbourhood technology following a Federal Government Smart Cities grant of $571,000.

Critically, the grant provides half the funding for the $1.14 million project to monitor baseline environmental conditions at Melrose Park, prior to and during the early construction of up to 6,000 apartments.

Smart sensors will be placed throughout the 30 hectare development site to collect environmental data which will give insights about the area’s liveability ahead of the planned 10-year construction period.

Around 70 smart sensors will measure humidity, temperature, noise, air quality and water run-off.

Lord Mayor, Andrew Wilson, said, “The data from this smart climate neighbourhood project will help inform planning in order to enhance urban liveability, as well as improve outcomes across our vibrant City of Parramatta.”

Real-time environment data will be fed into modelling software allowing designs for landscaping, or building orientation and placement, to be tweaked to mitigate urban heat, poor air quality and noise pollution.

PAYCE director, Dominic Sullivan, said, “The key issue with design is not just the buildings themselves, but what is in between them, such as paths, public areas and landscaping. 

“Early data will be important for design in terms of spacing, landscaping, and potentially the orientation of the buildings.”

The key to the project is UTS’ Technology for Urban Liveability Program (TULIP). This collates the climate data with 3D development plans, through world-leading technologies, industry partners and researchers.

Senior Research Consultant at UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures’ and TULIP Program Manager, Andrew Tovey, said, “This is a test case – an extremely interesting one.”

Council’s Smart City Advisory Committee’s Chair, Councillor Steven Issa, said, “This grant will enable real time data and the Internet of Things to help us shape future developments in Parramatta. 

“It’s exciting to be part of a ground-breaking Smart Cities project.”