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Smart cities: A snapshot of Australia in 2017

KPMG and the Public Sector Network brought together more than 440 leaders from government, universities and industry across six events around the country between 29 August and 7 September 2017  to talk about what it really takes to make a city smart.  On the agenda were strategy, building a business case, innovation, engaging communities and establishing strong partnerships and collaboration.  

Some main themes that were addressed by the survey include how to:

  • form a smart city strategy
  • build a business case for funding
  • engage with their citizens and communities
  • establish strong partnerships for collaboration.

What was captured was a snapshot of a smart city movement that is focused on citizen needs and ready for change. In the report and set of videos some of the common themes and challenges are shared, including case studies and insights from a survey of participants.

You can access the report here.

Video 1: Smart Cities: Improving Services in City of Prospect, Cate Hart, CEO City of Prospect

Human-centred approach

“Smart cities is more than technology’¦it’ s much more about supporting the community. One of the challenges of smart cities is maintaining the relevance of the terminology and ensuring that the community understand it’ s not just about gadgets’¦’

Setting clear goals

“The opportunity to work with the Intelligent Community Forum came up a number of years ago and the council decided it would be a good way to frame its approach to servicing the community. [The forum] has a range of indicators that need to be demonstrated in order to be recognised as an ‘˜intelligent community’ . Those indicators now underpin our strategic management plan and hence our service delivery model.’

Video 2: Local Government: Smart Cities can seize the opportunity, Adam Beck, Smart Cities Council


“There are some strong formalised and peer to peer networks. For example Adelaide has MOUs with cities in India, US and Europe.’

“Over time as more and more organisation help provide the infrastructure for peer to peer networking and sharing we’ ll be in better place.’

Not technology-led

“I have seen it be the biggest barrier. Where the tech focus, tech-led approach and mind set is embraced it becomes a risk and cost exercise.’

“I’ m seeing some good technology enabled projects, Adelaide is a classic, the Gig City project is not about tech, it’ s about jobs, it’ s about brand it’ s about competitive advantage.’

Video 3: Smart Cities: Making the City of Adelaide more competitive and liveable, The Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Martin Haese

“The important part of driving a strong technology agenda is to actually manage the public conversation. An important part is to have it as a very benefits based conversation. When talking to a commercial or residential rate payer ‘“ what’ s in it for them? How’ s it going to make their life better?’