Perth---Australias most westerly capital city is known for its sunshine, its natural beauty and its relaxed pace. With an estimated population of a little over 1.97 million, Perth is Australias fourth most populous region and is growing rapidly. And that growth requires a strong and considered strategy for city development.
To ensure that we provide the best possible services to our citizens now and well into the future, it was clear to us that Perth needed to be smarter in the way we collated, distributed, accessed and used key infrastructure data. Transport, water, energy and other infrastructure utilities need to be in sync with each other for us to be able to plan and use resources in a valuable and efficient way.
To help make this a reality, the City of Perth was awarded an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant in early 2014. The aim of the grant was to help us develop a road map to guide the Citys knowledge infrastructure capability and ultimately transform Perth into a smarter city.
To kick off the project, an international five-member IBM team spent three weeks in our city in late July, meeting with over 65 stakeholders across government, business and not-for-profit organisations. During these meetings, the team kept a focus on how the City could best coordinate and use its existing data sources and potentially link to data held by other key agencies.
The IBM Smarter Cities Perth team brought a fresh set of eyes to the City and as a result, the recommendations weve received from this engagement have been very valuable. According to the IBM team, our top priority will be to synthesise the vast amount of city data available into actionable information that will advance our planning requirements and better serve the public needs. If this data is harnessed properly across agencies, it will provide more consistency and ready access to real-time data which can be used to better plan for future city growth. It can also help reduce the potential for disruption of essential services.
Another priority the IBM team identified was the need to create a Chief Data Officer (CDO) to guide Perth through bridging the data gap between agencies and utilities organisations. The CDO will also be entrusted with using data to create systems of engagement and virtual dashboards to manage them. Weve also been advised to move towards a social listening approach to monitor citizen sentiment and feedback and leverage it for our communication planning.
These are just some of the recommendations the IBM team put forward. It is clear that data will play a crucial role in our future actions and decisions. If we are to realise the vision of Perth as a smarter city, we need to continue to build the right infrastructure and leverage existing systems to accelerate city data sharing.
We are dedicated to improving the quality of life for our Citys people, and with the help of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, we are starting to take steps towards making this a reality.
Source: Citizen IBM
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