Feature Article - Barriers to Perth Becoming a Smart City

In the Committee’s Perth’s Pathway to Prosperity report, we made seven recommendations in order to protect Perth’s much valued quality of life and deliver economic growth. One of the key recommendations was to ‘implement "smart city" initiatives for infrastructure efficiency and improved liveability and urban competitiveness’.

To bring action to the recommendation, the Committee invited the leaders and practitioners from a cross-sector of organisations to attend a workshop co-hosted with long-term member Shell Australia, a global organisation renowned for its scenario planning expertise.

Following a series of thought-provoking presentations, attendees were split into groups to workshop solutions around energy, mobility, the environment and water and urban planning. Key questions were posed:

  • Where does Perth need to get to?
  • What are the steps to be taken?
  • What are the roadblocks or barriers?

The five things identified that Perth needs to address in order to become a smart city:

  • A lack of strategy - plans must be developed with a shared vision which has been set with the community to ensure Perth meets the needs of its current and future citizens.
  • Address low density - low levels of urban density across the metropolitan region hinder the implementation of smart solutions and negatively impact on infrastructure costs.
  • Acknowledge trade-offs - There is no silver bullet in providing solutions which means that trade-offs are required. They should be shared and discussed widely and be underpinned by a detailed evidence base.
  • Unburden the regulatory system - current regulation is seen as a barrier to innovation and the implementation of new ‘smart’ solutions.
  • Offer fiscal incentives - to incentivise behaviour change.

The full report can be accessed here.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.