Smarter city promotes social cohesion

Maribyrnong City Council in partnership with Victoria University is getting ready for a smarter, more digitally-engaged Footscray with the roll out of a host of new smart technologies.

The technologies, forming the ‘Footscray Smart City for Social Cohesion Project’ will place Footscray in a league with other smart cities around the world with improvements funded by a $400,000 Australian Government Smart Cities and Suburbs Program grant and boosted by funding from Council and Victoria University.

Victoria University’s College of Engineering and Science will develop a platform (the ‘Social Cohesion Platform’) that collects data from smart sensors. 

This platform will enable data-driven decision making that supports ongoing improvements to Council’s service delivery.

OneWiFi and Infrastructure has been engaged to provide the solutions and infrastructure required to deliver the project.

The project stems from the Footscray University Town initiative, a visionary partnership between Council and Victoria University which combines efforts of both organisations to align university, business and community interests and activities.

Mayor, Sarah Carter, said, “Smart technology is the way of the future. It’s one of the ways we will improve service delivery to our community. 

“As part of the Footscray Smart City for Social Cohesion Project, we’ll be gathering information about environmental impacts in our city that we will use to help improve our city’s air quality.

“The project will also give us near real-time information about traffic, cycling and pedestrian movement, and provide smart lighting to contribute to the reduction of our carbon footprint. 

“As we develop this project, there is expected to be increased uses for the information to improve how we live and do business in Footscray.”

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, said, “The Footscray Smart City for Social Cohesion Project is one of 81 projects funded under the Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, which supports delivery of innovative technology-based approaches that improve the liveability, productivity and sustainability of cities and towns across Australia.

“I am pleased to see Footscray leveraging smart technology and open data to help address challenges around population growth, mobility, environment and redevelopment. 

“This collaborative initiative will deliver community value by improving city performance and citizen experience.”