22/07/2014 - 13:01

Perth infrastructure gets smart

22/07/2014 - 13:01

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The City of Perth and IBM will meet with businesses and agencies over the next three weeks as the council seeks to improve the city’s infrastructure and planning, as well as create a 3D portal for investors.

Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi.

The City of Perth and IBM will meet with businesses and agencies over the next three weeks as the council seeks to improve the city’s infrastructure and planning, as well as create a 3D portal for investors.

Perth is one of two Australian cities to receive a $500,000 grant from IBM's philanthropic Smarter Cities Challenge project in 2014 - the other is Ballarat in Victoria.

It follows the Smarter Cities initiative being carried out in Geraldton in 2012, which was part of IBM's motivation for establishing a larger workforce in WA.

The grant will  be used to better integrate data from essential services so potential problems can be anticipated and addressed in advance.

“Presently the city and other key state agencies don’t have a combined platform for the monitoring of existing infrastructure for water, energy and transport and to model the impact of future developments,” Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said.

“We have experienced issues with infrastructure failures that have disrupted traffic, transport and business activity and they’re not good times when they happen.

“A wealth of data exists that could better inform infrastructure planning and very importantly investment decisions and certainly to inform evidence based planning decisions and even scenario planning for the future.”

Ms Scaffidi said global representatives from IBM would meet with the council, state agencies and businesses during the next three weeks to develop a roadmap for enabling smart infrastructure decisions.

“We will also create an investor portal that investors can utilise to see development plans in a 3D format to understand the impact to existing infrastructure and the likely costs that new infrastructure requirements will create,” she said.

“The information will inform their feasibility studies and assist them in understanding the wealth of investment opportunities here in the city.

“I actually think this could be a great legacy project for Perth, to actually get to a point where we have this information in a much more user friendly way is going to be something really significant.”

Property Council of Australia executive director Joe Lenzo said Perth was increasingly needing smarter systems to address its infrastructure needs as it positioned itself on the global stage.

"Fundamentally, infrastructure is a network and cannot be considered in isolation as it has over Perth’s development history,’’ he said.

"The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a great opportunity to establish the much needed governance structure to plan, prioritise and deliver high-value infrastructure that will underpin the city’s future growth and development opportunities."

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