The population of our eight Western Sydney City Deal Councils is expected to grow from 1,070,000 in 2016 to over 1,534,450 by 2036. This means that we will increasingly face the challenges of growing demand and limited resources as we continue to provide vital services to our community. Therefore we have to find new ways of working and providing services. Inevitably as part of the transformation process, we will be using data to inform decision making such as to advocate for policy change, streamline processes, improve access to information to deliver better services and increase community participation, satisfaction, transparency and economic opportunity.
As one initiative towards building our ‘smarter’ city, we have partnered with the Federal and State governments to build and share data openly and proactively not only with each other but with the wider community, our citizens, businesses and researchers to support data-driven decision making and deliver better outcomes for our communities across the Western Sydney Parklands.
The Western Parkland City Sensor Network Project deployed a shared, scalable sensing network across our eight partners. The network connects to the internet of things (IoT), enabling data sharing to enhance place-based planning and communication with the citizens of the Western Parkland City. It uses public domain and environmental sensors to establish the network spine, enhancing development of tools for data sharing and data analytics, and digital governance protocols.
Our councils shared network and data resources and in a regional first, also shared network and data resources with Sydney Water who had been deploying a separate sensor network.
The extended network coverage combining all eight councils and Sydney Water enabled this project to monitor and manage resources far more effectively. A unique characteristic of this initiative is the unilateral collaboration specifically to drive smart city initiatives and enable innovation in our region.
Data is collected in relation to:
The Sensor Network Project was the winner of Local Government category of the IoTAA’s Smart Cities Award and was also nominated as a finalist in the 2022 iTnews Benchmark Awards. While the current open data portals on each Council’s website provide some valuable information, we believe they could do so much more. We are aiming to gain funding for an expanded sensor network and to drive increased collaboration between Councils to ‘post’ different and even more useful data sets, so watch this space!