Smart Cities prepares NZ launch

Smart Cities prepares NZ launch
The Seattle-based Smart Cities Council is coming to Australia and New Zealand and will launch a ‘readiness guide’ for the region.

The Australia-New Zealand branch is part of a growing Smart Cities Council global network of smart cities practitioners, working with the goal to make cities liveable, workable and sustainable.

The Smart Cities Council was launched in 2012 and is the world’s largest network of smart cities practitioners. The first hub was launched in India in 2015 and it is growing into Europe, the Middle East and China. 

Smart Cities Council Global chairman Jesse Berst says Australia and New Zealand are on track to develop smart, sustainable cities.

“Launching the Council in Australia and New Zealand is the next step in the region’s contribution to solving global problems of climate change and the need to innovate to resolve inequality and deliver economic development,” he says.

The founding executive director for the region has been announced as Adam Beck, who was formerly the director of innovation at Portland-based think-tank EcoDistricts.

Beck also has experience as the executive director at the Green Building Council of Australia.  He was impressed with the Smart Cities Council’s efforts across the world and wants to help accelerate the smart cities marketplace in Australasia.

Berst says Beck’s experience in city-building will be beneficial in his new role.

“His deep knowledge in market transformation practices and sustainable community development will be a significant benefit.”

The Council’s first task is to develop and publish a ‘readiness guide’ for the region. The guide offers advice to help businesses understand how technology will transform cities and to help pave a way for the future.

The guide is aimed at mayors, city managers, city planners and their staff, and the Australia and New Zealand version will be published in 2017. More than 1700 city leaders have downloaded the existing Smart Cities Readiness Guide.

Beck says it is a good time for the Smart Cities Council to start working within the Australasian market.

“The time has come to build on existing successes and unleash the full potential of the smart cities movie here, to apply digital technology and intelligent design practices to build the best cities we can,” says Beck.

“We want to show cities that is possible today to solve many of our global problems one city at a time, and that great progress is being made around the globe. “