Ambitious Adelaide’s Plan to Become Australia’s Carbon-Neutral Smart City

Local government officials in the Australian city of Adelaide have pledged to see the town become the country’s first carbon-neutral smart city.

Australia has become a hotbed of smart infrastructure and pilot projects over the last few years. The South Australian government aims to reduce emissions 60% by 2050, a goal that’ll be aided by the region’s considerable renewable energy resources.

Adelaide, which is located in South Australia, hopes to attract some $10 billion (AUSD) in investments in renewable energy and clean tech innovation. It joins Melbourne, Vancouver and Copenhagen in hoping to achieve carbon neutral status.

The city’s plan for reaching its carbon-neutral goal: increased energy efficiencies in transit systems and buildings, coupled with a slate of new development plans for renewable energy projects, specifically rooftop solar.

Adelaide also wants to become a pioneer in the growing smart city space. City leaders have partnered with Cisco, Microsoft, and other technology firms to lay the foundation for a series of pilot projects that aim to increase efficiency and enhance quality of life for residents of Adelaide. The city was chosen by Cisco to be one of its smart city “lighthouses” in 2014. In September 2015, Cisco and city officials opened the Smart City Studio in downtown Adelaide.

The studio will “connect the City of Adelaide, and its businesses, entrepreneurs and citizens to a range of IoT (Internet of Things) opportunities,” according to Cisco. The company will use the space as one of its Internet of Everything (IoE) centers.

“Adelaide’s Smart City Studio is a space that will be dedicated to innovation, particularly in regards to the ground-breaking applications and services that can be built around IoT,” Cisco said. “It will enable innovators to develop, test and commercialize the next generation of IoT applications and services to improve citizens’ everyday lives. It will also provide access to a broad range of city-wide services, making the city more resource-efficient and environmentally sustainable.”

Initial smart city pilot projects include:

  • Smart environmental monitor that measures and collects data on CO2, dust, sound and temperatures. The data will be made available to the public via an open data system, which can be used to “create innovative solutions to improve the experience of the city.”
  • Smart parking system that communicates parking information to users via a mobile app. The system “will provide city drivers with the ability to locate, pay and top up an on-street car park space.”
  • Smart lighting project that will trial different energy management tools for lighting such as motion sensors and automatic light dimmers for street lighting. The project will also track in real-time street light outages.

Adelaide claims it’ll be the first smart city of its kind in Australia, though Melbourne is also eyeing the space.


Feature image: Adelaide, Australia, by Gary Sauer-Thompson. CC BY-SA 2.0 by  thoughtfactory 


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