Construction of Australia’s largest Smart City project, ‘Switching on Darwin’, has been completed on time and on budget, with testing and implementation drawing to a conclusion, the aim is to have a fully integrated system available by the end of June.
The project aims to make Darwin a world-leading smart city with the addition of 912 new LED streetlights, 138 new CCTV cameras, 39 new hotspots to extend free WiFi, 24 environmental sensors to measure weather conditions and air quality, sensors for vehicle and pedestrian movement analysis, smart parking technology, along with an audio system in the Mall, and a smart city control and management platform. The A$10m (US$7m) project, which received A$5m (US$3.5m) funding from the Federal Government and A$2.5m (US$1.75m) each from the Northern Territory Government and City of Darwin, was launched in July 2018.
The Switching on Darwin program will deliver many benefits to the community and the environment, including:
- Enhanced community safety;
- Improved and more efficient Council services;
- Greater environmental sustainability by reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions; Smart planning where data will inform planning and design;
- Innovation with data available to the community and business sector;
- Improved public spaces through free WiFi, and better lighting;
- Better mobility management, with smart parking, and a greater understanding of vehicle and pedestrian movement.
All of the data collected by the multiple sensors will be fed into the overall smart city management platform and a dashboard where the information can be analyzed by City of Darwin authorities and made available to other organizations on request. This will allow for improved planning, service delivery, and greater understanding of local environmental trends. A snapshot of key data will be available to the public via the City of Darwin’s website. The data will also be made available to app developers, and local academic and research organizations to create additional services.
“Completion of this project positions Darwin as a leader in innovation,” said Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis. “We now have the tools to improve the liveability of our city, the delivery of services to our community, and to a better understanding of our local environment. A fully integrated dashboard is being developed which will display trends in the data being collected, including temperature, rain and humidity, noise and dust, wind speed and CO2 levels.”