A new Federal Government Smart Cities Plan sets out priority areas for investment to drive coordinated delivery of sustainable growth. In our view, the Plan presents significant opportunities across industry sectors including property, financial services, information technology and data management.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Cities Minister Angus Taylor have opened public consultation on the Federal Government’s Smart Cities Plan.
According to the Government:
“The Smart Cities Plan will position our cities to succeed in the 21st Century economy. It is a plan for supporting productive, accessible, liveable cities that attract talent, encourage innovation and create jobs and growth. It represents a new framework for cities policy at the federal level – and it is a framework that will guide action across various portfolios, to deliver better outcomes for our cities, the people who live in them and all Australians.”
The Smart Cities Plan aims to tackle challenges common to metropolitan and regional cities across the country – congestion, access to jobs and services, reduced housing affordability and increasing pollution levels.
The Plan looks beyond the funding of infrastructure to suggest more coordination and new partnership agreements between Federal and State Governments and the private sector.
Underpinning the Plan are three broad commitments covering:
Smart Policy and
In this note we examine each of those commitment areas, and identify opportunities for involvement in the development of the final Smart Cities Plan.
The Plan builds on the concept of designing cities that allow residents to travel to work, places of study and recreational hubs within 30 minutes, underpinned by the following three commitments.
1) Smart Investment
Smart Investment has four components:
Prioritising projects that meet broader economic objectives, including Federal Government investment in public transport projects.
Establishment of the Infrastructure Financing Unit to work closely with the private sector on innovative financing solutions.
Getting involved early to ensure rigorous planning, with a Federal commitment of $50 million to accelerate planning and development works on major infrastructure projects to develop business cases and investment options.
Increasing investment and using tools like value capture as a way to distribute the costs and benefits of publicly funded infrastructure to facilitate a project that may not otherwise occur.
2) Smart Policy
Smart Policy aims to coordinate infrastructure plans between all levels of government, and reforming processes that are inconsistent and create costly barriers.
Smart Policy consists of:
Delivering ‘City Deals’ to drive economic growth, job creation, housing affordability and positive environmental outcomes.
Leading regulatory reform in areas including planning, land use, housing, competition and business and transport.
Measuring success by identifying key city metrics and the data required to assess performance.
3) Smart Technology
The Plan highlights opportunities for Smart Cities to utilise Smart Technologies by:
Thinking of technology solutions first.
Leveraging open and real time data.
Driving use of energy efficient technologies.
The Smart Cities Plan proposes a step change in the ways Governments work with the private sector to effectively plan, develop and deliver infrastructure and services.
Opportunities exist for:
Financial services and investment companies to propose innovative financing models and partnership arrangements to deliver on the Plan’s goals.
Information technology and data management/analytics companies to partner and invest with Government in the development and delivery of products, services and solutions for smart technology.
Property development companies to work with Governments to accelerate coordinated planning and development of major infrastructure projects.
Andrew Stokes is a Senior Director in the Strategic Communications segment of FTI Consulting and based in Sydney, Australia.
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