Smart Cities and IoT Australia and New Zealand

Cities are about people. They are not machines but have human personality traits, quirks & a unique DNA shaped by their culture, their environment and their people.

No city is the same and there is no blue print or one size fits all approach to unlocking their latent potential. Some are healthy, vital, exciting & productive but many are not. Transforming and resuscitating cities- making them liveable, competitive & sustainable requires a carefully crafted individual response. It’s often more about psychology than planning, engineering or architecture. (Ludo Campbell-Reid)

There is no one-size-fits-all connectivity solution for Internet of Things particularly when applied to Cities.

From fill-level monitoring of rubbish containers needing to transfer a few bytes of information once an hour , through to unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) relaying high-definition video over long distances, the diversity of applications is far too great for any one technology to dominate.

The requirements of IoT are driving massive innovation in the connectivity space, and this site will help to educate where NZ and Australia can benefit from these emergent technologies.

Australian and New Zealand Cities are relatively young in comparison to many of their European counterparts. However, both countries consistently have cities that rank very highly in yearly rankings for quality of life.

The Mercer Quality of Living Survey in 2016 ranked the following ANZ cities …. Auckland (3rd) , Sydney (10th) , Wellington (12th) ,  Melbourne (15th) , Perth (21st) , Adelaide (27th) , Canberra (28th) , and Brisbane (36th).

Rank City Country
1 Vienna Austria
2 Zurich Switzerland
3 Auckland New Zealand
4 Munich Germany
5 Vancouver Canada
6 Dusseldorf Germany
7 Frankfurt Germany
8 Geneva Switzerland
9 Copenhagen Denmark
10 Sydney Australia
11 Amsterdam Netherlands
12 Wellington New Zealand
13 Berlin Germany
14 Bern Switzerland
15 Toronto Canada
15 Melbourne Australia
17 Ottawa Canada
18 Hamburg Germany
19 Luxembourg Luxembourg
19 Stockholm Sweden
21 Brussels Belgium

Table 1 = Top 21. Full list can be downloaded from the Mercer website.

As new technologies develop, they present the opportunity for us to make our cities and towns safer, smarter places. For example, sensors that monitor traffic congestion or noise allow us to respond in real time to issues that affect our cities, like traffic incidents, or vandalism. (1)

As yet there are no definitive rankings for Smart Cities. No doubt there is a group of analysts looking into these metrics for future release.

Several proof of concept or pilot projects are underway in Australia and New Zealand. There is a significant opportunity to test new technologies and implement the best solutions over the coming few years.

The Smart Nation project – New Zealand.

Together with Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch councils, LINZ have identified key benefits that are wanted for the Smart Nation project and these include…

  • access to more data that will help form new policies, and improve planning and decision-making at a local, regional and national level
  • more resilience in how Councils plan for, manage and fund city assets through improved maintenance planning, and better understanding of how these assets should be used
  • attraction of international talent to experiment and develop technologies in our cities as ‘living laboratories’
  • creation of new business opportunities, employment and export earning through supporting existing and start-up companies to use sensor technologies and data services.


In Australia the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA) has been around for several years promoting ways councils can become more efficient using smart technologies. In 2016 with a wider choice of emerging technologies the association is currently testing lighting , parking , smart waste , Wi-Fi and IoT platforms in sites like the Sunshine Coast , Geelong and Ipswich.


Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) one of the keys to unlocking greater IoT adoption.

In 2015 industrial and enterprise IoT solutions attracted over 75% of funding as compared to consumer IoT companies; this trend is expected to continue in 2016.

Between 2010 and 2015, over $7.5 billion has been invested in IoT companies globally in over 900 deals. In 2016 the investment in IoT should increase significantly. Table 2 and (3).

Thinxtra has now launched a Sigfox Network in Australia and New Zealand. Thinxtra has already signed off on a 1 million unit contract with a Australian solution developer for remote gas tank monitoring using LPWAN technology instead of the traditionally more expensive 3G/4G connectivity.

Smart City ANZ will be bringing articles out about how traffic flow , parking , wi-fi connectivity , rubbish collection , street lighting and the overall environment will benefit from these developments over the next 20 years.

(1) Smart Cities Smart Nation NZ – Smart Nation Project

(2) Australian Smart Communities Association – ASCA Site

(3) Live Mint – 22nd September 2016

Smart Cities and IoT Australia and New Zealand