Brisbane City Council is a smart, connected city.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
But this isn’t just a throwaway line, it’s a structure; something that guides the way we think, informs the actions we take and underpins how we make our city a great place to live, work and relax.
To get a true idea of how increasingly connected we are becoming, it helps to look back a few years.
It’s safe to say that Brisbane was a very different place fifteen years ago. In 2002, the city had a population of 920,000 people, 695 buses and no option for people to ask us about their best transport options on Facebook, because it didn’t exist!
Fast forward to 2017 and our population sits at more than 1.14 million, we have more than 1,200 buses and the ability to help residents with enquiries about transport and all manner of other things via Facebook, Twitter as well as the telephone!
As Brisbane continues to grow, welcoming new residents, visitors and business, it’s vital that we invest in technology that helps us maximise both new and existing infrastructure.
In short, the bigger we get, the smarter we need to be!
Council can already point to some great examples of this. Our free Wi-Fi service allows residents and visitors to stay connected as they move around our parks, public spaces and malls, , with approximately 50,000 unique users a month taking advantage of the service since it launched in March 2016 and more hot spots set to go live as part of a $1 million four-year commitment to installing free Wi-Fi in eight local suburban centres.
Council’s Open Data is also helping to build our local economy while creating new and innovative jobs, allowing Brisbane’s IT innovators to develop apps, websites and tech tools for the benefit of residents and visitors.
From information on public transport, to waste and recycling, to spatial data, there are 120 datasets available for anyone to use. The 2016-17 financial year saw a major increase in the number of people registering to use them, with an average of one person per day signing up to use the service after Council’s $190,000 investment in the initiative.
That’s some impressive connectivity, but being a Smart, Connected city doesn’t just mean being connected to the internet.
It’s our investment in innovative irrigation systems, meaning our city’s local sports clubs and parklands can make smarter use of water.
It’s our work to deliver Brisbane’s Emergency Vehicle Priority (EVP) system with the Queensland Government, giving oncoming emergency vehicles priority with a green light to help them make every second count.
And it’s our planning for Brisbane Metro, a high-frequency public transport system to cut travel times and improve services to the suburbs, providing a cost-effective solution to Brisbane’s bus congestion.
Look up Brisbane on Trip Advisor and you’ll see the world thinks a trip on one of our CityCats is the number 1 thing to do here. We’re already a city that’s famous for being connected and Council will continue to make sure we lead the way in making connections, whether online, on the road, or on the water!