A smarter, more digitally-engaged Footscray

Published on 29 January 2020


Get ready for a smarter, more digitally-engaged Footscray as Maribyrnong City Council in partnership with Victoria University roll out new smart technologies.

The technologies, which range from digital kiosks, expanded free public WiFi to energy efficient lighting and air-monitoring sensors, will form the ‘Footscray Smart City for Social Cohesion Project’.

Footscray will be placed in a league with other smart cities around the world with improvements funded by a $400,000 Australian Government Smart Cities and Suburbs Program grant and boosted by funding from Council and Victoria University.

Victoria University’s College of Engineering and Science will develop a platform (the ‘Social Cohesion Platform’) that collects data from smart sensors. This platform will enable data-driven decision making that supports ongoing improvements to Council’s service delivery.

Businesses and the community are also expected to reap the rewards of this exciting new project.

Council and Victoria University have engaged OneWiFi & Infrastructure to roll out the solutions and infrastructure required to deliver this smart city project.

The roll out will result in the installation of:

  • monitoring sensors that measure the air quality in and around Footscray to help Council advocate for improved health outcomes for the city. This monitoring is also expected to contribute to Council’s commitment to an improved climate emergency response
  • energy efficient smart lighting, that reduces the maintenance and cost of public lighting, contributing to Council’s commitment to an improved climate emergency response.
  • expanded free public WiFi in the Footscray business district and Footscray Park, to enable the community to better access educational, tourism, business and public transport information at no cost.
  • pedestrian, cyclist, and vehicle counting technology to help reduce congestion and improve transport and transport connections in the Footscray business district and other areas
  • interactive signage at key locations will promote the city’s history, tourist destinations, public transport options and other information as part of a digital kiosk
  • Footscray Park App featuring environmental education functions listing flora and fauna found in the Park and the Edwardian gardens, giving users the opportunity to learn more about the Park’s history and habitats
  • Integrated Smart City Data Platform, that compiles information gathered from the sensor network and is accessible to the public
  • LoRaWAN network, considered a ‘gateway’ and part of ‘The Internet of Things (IoT)’, will share information gathered by Council with Victoria University.

Council will ensure the safety and security of people and assets and maintain high standards of privacy in leveraging the value of data. No personal information will be collected by the smart technology.

Installation will take place at key locations in Footscray over the summer months, with completion expected by mid-2020.

This project stems from the Footscray University Town initiative, a visionary partnership between Council and Victoria University which combines efforts of both organisations to align university, business and community interests and activities.

If you have any questions about the Footscray Smart City for Social Cohesion Project, please email email@maribyrnong.vic.gov.au or call 9688 0200.

Maribyrnong Mayor, Councillor Sarah Carter commented:

Smart technology is the way of the future. It’s one of the ways we will improve service delivery to our community. As part of the Footscray Smart City for Social Cohesion Project, we’ll be gathering information about environmental impacts in our city that we will use to help improve our city’s air quality.

The project will also give us near real-time information about traffic, cycling and pedestrian movement, and provide smart lighting to contribute to the reduction of our carbon footprint. It will also help residents boost their knowledge of the important flora and fauna in the area. As we develop this project, there is expected to be increased uses for the information to improve how we live and do business in Footscray.

Alan Tudge, Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure added:

The Footscray Smart City for Social Cohesion Project is one of 81 projects funded under the Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, which supports delivery of innovative technology-based approaches that improve the liveability, productivity and sustainability of cities and towns across Australia.

I am pleased to see Footscray leveraging smart technology and open data to help address challenges around population growth, mobility, environment and redevelopment. This collaborative initiative will deliver community value by improving city performance and citizen experience.

You can find out more about the Footscray Smart City for Social Cohesion and other smart city projects on the Smart Cities and Suburbs Collaboration Platform at www.infrastructure.gov.au/cities/smart-cities/collaboration-platform

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