Australia and New Zealand development industry set for smart upgrade

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Enhanced telecommunications connectivity, data insights, digital planning practices and innovation districts are among the issues addressed in a new standard of practice released by the Smart Cities Council and Green Building Council of Australia.

Released as part of Smart Cities Week Australia in Sydney, the Code for Smart Communities is a new benchmark for urban development practices across greenfield communities, urban regeneration precincts and diverse institutional campuses.

According to Adam Beck, Executive Director for Smart Cities Council in Australia and New Zealand, the release of the Code is an “important milestone after deep engagement with the development industry, technology companies, city shapers and all tiers of government”.

“This is the first time a smart community has been defined in a way that can be practically applied. We went back to principles to build this Code from the ground up,” Mr Beck adds.

The GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew says “there was a strong synergy between the sustainable development outcomes articulated in the Green Star – Communities rating tool and the enabling opportunities from technology and data to enhance community outcomes”.

“This work will provide us with the opportunity to ensure smart cities principles are embedded in Green Star as the rating system evolves to meet industry and global trends, and continues to deliver environmental efficiencies, productivity gains and health and wellbeing outcomes in our buildings and communities.”

Place Design Group was a technical partner in the development of the Code. According to Chris Isles, Executive Director, Planning: “developing a single source for planners, developers, communities and governments as they shape our future cities and suburbs will ensure we capitalise on smart city opportunities.

“Two lighthouse projects are stepping up to be the first to embrace the principles within the Code,” Mr Beck adds. These are:

  • Yarrabilba, a Lendlease community in Queensland, set to be home to more than 40,000 residents
  • Sydney Olympic Park, planned to grow into a 23,000-person community with more than 30,000 jobs.

Also supporting the development of the Code was the project’s lead partner Lendlease. Managing Director of Lendlease’s Communities business, Matt Wallace, says Lendlease supported the development and testing of the Code to drive best practice in the industry to better respond to customer needs.

“Our customers are expecting more seamless connectivity in all aspects of their lives from high-speed broadband at home to free wi-fi in the park. Our Smart Community flagship, Yarrabilba, has provided us with a platform to test and evolve a range of technologies to optimise people’s lives to create healthier, safer and more sustainable communities. We look forward to working closely with Smart Cities Council to test the code at Yarrabilba and provide feedback to enhance its development,” Mr Wallace says.

Sydney Olympic Park Authority CEO Charles Moore says: “having the chance to be one of the lighthouse projects for the Code is a unique opportunity to be part of an emerging agenda that requires strong collaboration across government and industry”.

“The Authority is committed to ensuring that Sydney Olympic Park has a strong emphasis on sustainability as it grows and evolves, and the Code will integrate well with our plan of achieving a 6 Star Green Star – Communities rating.”

Source: GBCA