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Australian Government Introduces New Smart Cities Plan

Nations and major cities all over the world have been pushing toward smart city innovations. They're racing to lead the pack in the future of urban society. Canada, the United States, and Britain are currently vying for the top spots in the market, and Australia is now joining the pack with a new Smart Cities Plan that'll alter their stake in the smart city game.

The Smart Cities Plan Overview

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has recently announced the government's Smart Cities Plan, which should improve their investment performance and work on improving the sustainability factor throughout the country.

This new plan will make several changes to the funding already in place. For starters, it'll "coordinate and drive smarter city policy." This is done in an effort to get both city and national governments on board with the anticipated changes. In addition, it'll work on establishing clear models regarding infrastructure, innovation, and sustainability within city limits.

"We will embrace new technology with the potential to revolutionize how cities are planned, function, and how our economy grows," the plan states. "Disruptive new technology in transport, communications and energy efficiency are becoming a reality—we will position our cities to take full advantage. We will leverage real time open data driven solutions and support investment in sectors commercializing new innovations to grow Australian's economy."

This is the first time that a national plan in Australia has proposed a long-term investment in smaller areas. Because of the movement toward smart cities, these regional investments are expected to make a huge impact on the country's overall revenue steams and ability to stay competitive in today's smart market.

The plan will take effect in some of Australia's largest capital cities, including Karratha and Townsville. Combined, these cities have more than four million people, making the impact of the innovation high. Not only will the initiative include the urban areas, but also the surrounding towns and country. Regional capital cities in Australia are growing much faster than the national average, and with more smart city features involved to make life easier and sustainable, that rate is only expected to rise.

Key Players in the Initiative

None of this plan would be possible without a few key players, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball and assistant minister for cities and digital transformation, Angus Taylor. The two assembled a team over the last few years to draft the initiative and its outcome in order to advance this policy agenda.

In addition, there's been a hefty amount of government participation involved. All three levels of government must work together if they wish the growth and sustainability that comes with the Smart Cities Plan to come to fruition. It's a major challenge to get multiple governments to agree to the exact specifications laid out in the new plan, and those behind the negotiations are to be congratulated.

Some Key Initiatives Involved

Sustainability is difficult to achieve when the population reaches such high numbers as four million, but there's a plan for that as well. Most notable is the promotion of ride-sharing services that'll reduce the need for excess vehicles on the road. Companies like Uber will see a sharp increase in business as government organizations push the need for more sustainable travel.

In addition, the plan pushes toward the legalization and development of driverless cars, which will be seen as more efficient and easier to maintain than other forms of transportation.

"While it may be difficult to predict exactly when we will see widespread use of automated cars in our cities, when we do the impact is likely to be transformational," the policy explained. "These technologies will fundamentally change how we live and work, as well as other new innovations that are just over the horizon."