Hills Shire Council looks forward to hearing any community feedback on the Smart Places Strategic Framework, a plan to smoothen the implementation of ‘smart’ technologies in The Hills.
The draft provides a long-term strategy to encourage innovation, tackle urban challenges, attract investment and improve the overall liveability of the region.
The Council says Smart Places offers an observable impact to residents as it eases day-to-day functions with the use of various technologies and data.
The draft Smart Places Strategic Framework presents six Smart Place themes to guide The Hills’ transformation into a “Smart Place.” These include Movement, Placemaking and Liveability, Economy, Sustainability and Resilience, Digital Inclusion, and Governance.
A significant chunk of the stakeholder investment will be directed on “high growth locations and locations” with the highest density of residents, workers, and visitors and large-scale redevelopment and transformation such as Strategic Centres: Norwest, Rouse Hill, and Castle Hill.
The draft framework also aligns with the Council’s Precinct Plans for the three Strategic Centres and the Council’s Economic Growth Plan.
Council defines “Smart Places” as areas where technology, data, and innovation are used to increase the efficiency of everyday processes and solve various challenges, thereby promoting a better standard of living for its residents.
Existing technologies and systems are currently in place, which the draft Smart Place Strategic framework intends to build on for the continuous and future implementation of these technologies. These existing technologies include:
- Flood warning systems on some bridges
- Remote access to Council sporting facilities
- Solar panels at the Council’s Administration Building
- Electric vehicle charging stations at the Waves Fitness and Aquatic Centre
- Water level sensors in some dams
- Free public Wi-Fi in major retail centres
- Facilitating the submission of forms, payments and applications online
- Increased utilisation of QR Codes
The public exhibition of the Framework opened for the public on 13 November 2023 and will remain as such until Monday, 11 December 2023, at 5:00 PM. Feedback can be sent to the Council’s Have Your Say online section here.
To see a summary and a downloadable copy of the Draft Smart Places Strategic Framework, visit here.
After the exhibition, the Council will have its Post-Exhibition in its timeline in early 2024, and will be finalised between early to mid-2024.
Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Peter Gangemi, mentioned the draft proves the Council’s support for promoting innovation and stimulating economic benefits.
“Becoming a Smart Place is the way of the future,” Mayor Gangemi said.
“This Framework provides a basis for considering how technologies can be responsibly incorporated into our public areas to enhance them and make these spaces even better.
“We are encouraging innovation through technology that can be used to increase resilience and safety during natural disasters while encouraging the uptake of energy-efficient technologies to help our local environment thrive.
“The draft Framework also explores how technologies can better support the local economy, making commercial areas more attractive for businesses to set up shop here.