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Smart Cities

Our project using technology, connectivity and data to evolve our City and make real improvements

"As the largest populated city in NSW, we have a responsibility and duty to pave the way forward and set the standard for Smart Cities in Australia. The Smart CBCity Roadmap demonstrates our commitment to building a smart framework, not just for our great City, but to help shape Australia."
- Khal Asfour, Mayor

The City of Canterbury Bankstown has been working 'Smart' for a number of years, however in April 2018, Mayor Khal Asfour pledged support to become a leading Smart City, using technology and data to make our lives better for the future. He asked that Council investigate options to create its own plan for Smart City success.

In July 2018, Council developed a CitySMART function within the organisation structure and work commenced on its Smart Cities Roadmap and Smart City program.

In October 2018, Council endorsed the draft Smart CBCity Roadmap and placed it on public exhibition from 17 October 2018 to 22 June 2019. This extended public consultation period was a deliberate effort by Council to be truly consultative and ensure no-one is left behind in our journey to becoming a Smart City.

The current CBCity roadmap was adopted by Council in September 2019 and has been recognised as a highly commended document by the Smart Cities Council for 2019.

What does a Smart City mean for CBCity?

The following working definition is proposed to guide our thinking:

Using technology, connectivity and data to evolve our City and make real improvements.

Our mission statement:
"Canterbury-Bankstown will create a thriving, dynamic and real City, addressing the big challenges that matter to our community. We will achieve this by using technology and data to deliver more responsive and effective services, and facilitate resilient and informed decisions."
 
Learn about the Foundations of Smart Cities

There are a number of steps we needed to take to prepare for implementation for major projects. These foundation projects, which are now mostly complete or significantly underway, included:

  • Listening to and learning from other Smart Cities
  • Building a governance structure
  • Building a CitySMART team
  • Engaging locally and globally with others to promote the Roadmap
  • Identifying our priority projects
  • Developing partnerships with key stakeholders
  • Building a network of government and private partners
  • Making the most of existing data
  • Building a data lake and IoT platform
  • Developing appropriate cybersecurity and data management protocol
  • Building a communication and engagement platform
  • Developing a pilot public dashboard
  • Developing a range of seamless and convenient customer self-service opportunities

Our Smart Cities Roadmap is divided into three separate aspirations.

In a dynamic and multicultural community like Canterbury-Bankstown, we need to ensure that everyone is informed, engaged and connected. By building a culture of innovation within your local Council, the community and our local economy, Canterbury-Bankstown can move forward, develop smart solutions and reach new heights to solve urban challenges. This approach also helps us create partnerships with like-minded individuals and organisations, which provide an invaluable opportunity to learn, reduce risk and collaborate. Our innovative approach ensures we are working together to achieve our smart outcomes.

Project​​​​ProblemApproach
Fulcrum AppLack of autonomy and options  for people to report dumped rubbish.Mechanism used for reporting dumped rubbish and hot spot inspections.
CBCITY ConversationsWe need to continue building momentum as an innovative Council, but not all staff have the time to attend full-day conferences.A series of free-to-attend, short talks to Council staff, highlighting opportunities for innovation and encouraging empowered action.
GDIEveryone manages performance management, KPIs and development differently.A centralised system that holds all organisational performance, KPIs and development goals.
Memberships & networksThe Smart Cities space is moving at a rapid pace and Council risks falling behind.Develop a network of contacts and memberships to assist in gathering case studies, keeping on top of current trends and leveraging opportunities.
Immersion tours collaborationThere are few places where senior leaders can experience what a truly smart city is.Engage with cities throughout the world, to host immersion tours and provide opportunities for our leaders to experience smart cities 'in the wild'.
Sister CitiesCouncil has a range of Sister Cities which deplete resources and provide minimal opportunity to collaborate, in the Smart Cities space.Re-evaluate Sister Cities program and propose new partnership cities Council can learn from, in the Smart Cities arena.
Neighbouring council projectsLimited resources alongside large and complex problems, make it difficult to deliver real improvements in the space.Develop partnerships with neighbouring councils, to work together and build mutually beneficial outcomes, that improve Council's, the communities they serve and Local Government sector.
WWI Memorials bus tourCanterbury's WWI memorials have only been accessible in person.A simple, lightweight story map of Canterbury's WWI memorials.
Capital Works layerThere is currently limited interaction between government agencies, to view work being carried out simultaneously, which creates workflow inefficiencies and missed opportuni​ties.Capital works are loaded into Iworks for viewing spatially for other Government agencies, to determine if working in the same areas.
Online clean-up bookingsCustomers do not have autonomy to book their own Council clean-up bookings online.Develop an online booking service.
Waste collection interactive mapsInformation about bin collection days is not readily available to the public.Create a simple, lightweight web map for residents to search their address and view the waste collection calendar.
Lighting pole maintenance and reportingThe current, paper-based process is inefficient and interrupts business workflow.A cloud-based mobile platform is used for rich field data collection, to capture and communicate between fields and office for investigation and structural integrity condition assessment.
PKP Mark IIPaul Keating Park, in its current form, is at risk of not meeting community needs, as the area changes with the WSU development.Work alongside Western Sydney University to redefine how a smart Paul Keating Park could benefit sudents and the community.
Our workThe current method of works ordering is not efficient enough.An electronic works ordering system for building trades, roads and part of waste operations.
Asset Register and GISLack of centralised system to monitor and maintain Council assets, creating workflow innefficiencies that don't foster proactive improvements for our community.All infrastructure assets (roads, pathways, TMD, kerb and gutter, buildings, parks and street furniture, playgrounds, other structures, drainage pits and conduits) are captured and recorded in asset register, and spatially represented in GIS.
Business ContinuityWe don't currently have the capacity to reach all our residents in the event of an emergency, which means we aren't likely to be able to support them in an effective manner.Develop better digital communication channels, to enable concise and immediate information available to wider community, in the event of emergency or other critical incident.
Wi-Fi ConnectThere is limited public Wi-Fi accessibility within CBCity.Improve the access, utilisation and uptake of public Wi-Fi.
Wheelie Good eventsWe have difficulty managing accessibility, stock and capacity of the popular Wheelie Good Events. These events are a key driver to build awareness about where rubbish ends up.Implement an online booking system and engaging with residents via email to gather information and evaluate the program.
IoWasteWe have a lot of claims made against us for damage by our waste trucks and, with no definitive proof, fighting these claims takes unnecessary time, effort and resources.
Furthermore, paper-based processing currently causes a workflow productivity issue, that hinders us from being able to 'close the loop' with our customers, in a timely fashion.
Utilisation of IoT and technology to improve service.
Clean Street 4.0Residents are often unaware of street sweeping activities (causing barriers to completing the work), despite Council exhausting multiple avenues to communicate the information, resulting in inefficient service.Trial technology and mapping of street sweeping and targeted resident notification.
Garbage collection viewer - pilot projectLimited visibility and flexibility of garbage collection, forcing customers to make a phone call in order to track progress.Create simple lightweight web map for residents to search their address and view the garbage collection viewer.

New technologies and smart service upgrades provide an opportunity to optimise the infrastructure we offer our community and unlock greater efficiency. Using technology to monitor how our assets are used and proactively deploy maintenance activities allows us to better maintain our places, and provide insights to help us manage our assets' lifecycles. Our goal is to better understand our community and how they interact with our infrastructure (physical or digital) by unlocking the data potential of Council's infrastructure.

Project​

Problem

Approach

SafeTV Schools

Double parking in school zones poses a major safety risk and threat. Current management involves rangers enforcement and deterring people from doing the wrong thing, which is labour intensive, inefficient and unsustainable.

Trial of CCTV and auto number plate recognition, to auto-enforce and deter drivers from doing the wrong thing in school zones.

E-Ready

In comparison to petrol stations, there are only a few electric vehicle charging ports in CBCity. This creates a barrier for people to adopt sustainable and innovative transport options.

Electric vehicle charging points to be installed in Bankstown Civic Tower car park and Charles Street, Canterbury.

Smart transport / parking

Urban growth and increased congestion make it difficult to find parking within Canterbury-Bankstown in an efficient manner, therefore further exacerbating  congestion.

Explore smart parking options throughout Canterbury-Bankstown.

Interactive litter device

Our rivers are polluted and the understanding of the impact of litter in our waterways is limited among residents.

Research options for an interactive litter device, to help improve the health of our rivers and educate and inform the community.

Saltpan Creek solar farm

We currently have a high dependency on grid power, which is unsustainable.

Development of a 2MW (approx.) solar farm at Salt Pan Creek.

Stormwater audit using CCTV

Our existing stormwater infrastructure is failing, resulting in blockages and flooding.

Stormwater conduits monitored using CCTV.

Movement monitoring

Our current asset maintenance schedules are uniformed, creating workflow inefficiencies. We don't deeply understand how our communities utilise spaces, so we are not established to improve those spaces for them.

Utilisation of movement sensors to understand use and movement in open space.

Road condition audit

Our current method of collecting asset management data is reactive and requires manual intervention.

Utilise video, laser, and sensor technology to determine the condition of our roads.

Bionic park

Obesity, lowered mobility and a decreasing supply of green space due to a growing population, all pose a threat to activity levels in the community. In addition, there are a number of people in our community from low socio-economic backgrounds, who rely on public open space for activity.

Trial incorporation of augmented reality technology, to enhance use and engagement of open space.

Greentrack/Envizi

There is a poor understanding of how our behaviour affects energy usage, as there is no centralised system for environmental data across the organisation.

Create a data visualisation platform, so we can track and visualise Council's energy and water performance.

Smart bins

Limited understanding of how public bins are used, which leads to enforcement difficulties. This impacts our ability to plan for the future, based on key trends and understanding of how to improve the efficiency of our maintenance schedule.

Implement solar-powered litter bins that report on fullness levels and also include a compactor to reduce the frequency of collections and improve efficiencies.

Smart speed humps

Excess noise created as a result of loud and traditional speed bumps.

Install smart speed humps that sit flush with the road surface, only becoming a hump when a vehicle is detected travelling too fast. Once activated, the hump lowers, causing a depression in the road surface and discomfort to the driver and slowing them down.

Mobile technology

Limited ability to report and respond to waste issues in a timely manner.

Trial technology in garbage trucks and street sweepers to allow drivers to report issues with bins, street conditions, etc., and monitor activity.

Smart water fountains

Limited usage of free water stations, and limited data on the usage of water stations in parks and open space.

Install water fountains that provide data on water consumption, and have maintenance triggers, WiFi, digital screens and sensors to track pedestrian traffic movements.

New waste technology

Our current method of collecting waste is unsustainable and doesn't provide the best outcome for the customer or the environment.

Investigate ways new technology and better data can deliver a more efficient waste service and deliver a better outcome for the community as part of the Closing the Loop on Waste.

Old ways won't open new doors. With technology moving at such a rapid pace, our platforms, plans and procedures need to be flexible enough to grow in the best interests of the community. Council has an obligation not just to develop best practice policy for its organisation, but also to work with its state, federal and international counterparts to progress the development of policy that supports government innovation and digital transformation. We will engage with our community to shape the role that data plays and take meaning from it.

Project​

Problem

Approach

Geographic Information System (GIS)  alignment project

Council does not yet have a central GIS to aggregate Smart City data.

Improving Council's GIS.

Pathway alignment project

Council does not yet have a central Pathway system to manage customer requests.

Developing Council's Pathway system.

Cloud SAFE

Existing safety systems are not future-proof.

Work towards having a cloud-based system, to encompass key aspects of safety, to allow for easier reporting, rather than accessing information from different safety databases, for statistical and faster reporting purposes.

SMS Rangers

Current response time is slow and opportunities to improve the community through safety and enforcement measures are missed, due to workflow allocation requiring connection to the Council network.

SMS RANGERS is a 'smart' add-on that gives Customer Service Officers the ability to report events to rangers on duty, directly via email, to their mobile phones. This facilitates a quick response to events that require urgent action, which are then documented in our database.

The Circular Economy

We lose valuable resources and have to pay for their disposal, by not reusing our excess goods.

Look at ways to 'close the loop' via data, policy and process, to reuse materials that would otherwise go to landfill.

Data collection and audit (dashboard)

Council collects massive amounts of data daily, but fails to use this data to help make meaningful decisions.

Investigate various data collection projects and automation (i.e, asset condition, weeds audit, bin audit, building valuation, Council evacuation centres). Develop a performance dashboard (services and city outcomes).

Better parking

Congestion is a major problem for our community. Because we don't understand how people are travelling, we are not able to influence their journeys and free up parking spaces, to better meet the needs of those that genuinely need them.

Use data to better understand destinations of drivers using Council car parks.

3DCity

We're currently relying on information provided by applicants and developers (shadow analysis etc.), which has a high margin for error and can often be inaccurate, causing unnecessary delays.

Develop a 3D model for the Bankstown CBD and major centres. By utilising our own model, we can crosscheck and analyse in a more robust way.

Our Work App

The current modes of delegating workloads for city cleaning are inefficient and take unnecessary processing time. This leads to graffiti remaining visible in public, becoming to clean, enticing further destruction and creating angst for the community.

Develop a mobile app to help city cleaning and graffiti removal teams receive and respond to jobs.

Recycle Right program

There are high contamination rates in recycling bins across Canterbury-Bankstown. We also have difficulty managing data in the field, which prevents us from providing accurate and timely feedback to our residents and Customer Service Centre.

Utilise the Konect app to manage the Recycle Right program and use data more effectively to review how the program is run.

Customer Service Centre technological enhancements (workforce management technology)

A current lack of insight and data to understand where real improvements can be made in our Customer Service Centre, prevents the improvement of our service.

Implement Workforce Management Technology within the Customer Service Unit to monitor call trends in real-time.

Bin infrastructure mapping

We currently have more than 20 different types of park and litter bins, which causes stock control challenges at our depots and limited capacity to plan for the future. As we run a reactive service, there are also workflow inefficiencies within the asset life cycle.

Use the Konect app to record the location and type of every bin in the City, in order to make decisions on placement and how service runs can be planned.

Maintenance defects register

Failing roads cause major interruptions to our community. Workflow delegation is currently reactive, resulting in greater disruption when works are required to be carried out.

Collection of road asset defects with sub-metre accuracy, using Trimble devices and Corsnet (a network of permanent Global Navigation Satellite System tracking stations, which improve the accuracy of satellite positioning for users in NSW).

Capital Works progress software

We lack a central and easy-to-access project management system, which helps Council manage capital works programs. With traditional methods, we face the problem of managing a large body of work, large and high-risk budgets, holding multiple stakeholders accountable, tracking progress, identifying gaps and delivering capital works projects in a fast and efficient manner.

Use cloud-based software to manage the updating of multiple projects with progress by many staff for reporting.

Current projects

The City of Canterbury-Bankstown is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to detect waste contamination. It’s part of a $2.1 million technology-led transformation program, ‘Closing the Loop on Waste’, that is having a measurable and lasting impact on residents, liveability and the environment.

In Canterbury-Bankstown, waste is a big economic and social cost, it accounts for 21% of budget and 30% of resident interactions. Council’s waste contamination rate is also high, 25% compared to the NSW average of 10%. Amid this and the broader waste crisis, Council acknowledged the pivotal role we play in waste education and sustainability.

The project aimed to improve our resident's experience around Council waste services enabling our 365,000 residents to have a seamless waste service experience and to better understand how to recycle right. It will also help reduce the number of waste enquiries to Customer Service each year which currently stands at around 30,000 calls.

The project set out to achieve this through the implementation of a bespoke suite of technology solutions, this included:

  • Artificial Intelligence to identify contamination in recycling;
  • GPS & GNSS cameras mounted on our full fleet of 19 waste trucks;
  • RFID tags in a trial to determine effectiveness in matching a bin to a property;
  • Trial of proactive notifications via mobile SMS to notify residents of missed bins, bin spills and street sweeping; and
  • The development of a bespoke platform – Loop, which shares real-time information on job requests and status, waste truck live locations, waste collection routes, and customer information between various departments.

While Council is still realising the benefits of the program of this transformative project, it’s clear to see there are significant financial benefits and efficiency gains resulting from the program. Some of these include:

  • Improved customer experience through sharing accurate information and educating residents on waste management behaviours;
  • Increased visibility of contamination in recycling bins – what once took 5 years now takes 14 days;
  • Positive response from residents on the use of proactive notifications to keep them in the loop;
  • Improved safety and situational awareness for truck drivers who now have a 180 degree view of surroundings; and
  • Efficient waste operation services by addressing issues such as missed streets faster.

To read more about the Closing the Loop on Waste project, click below to access the full Case Study.​​

Download the Case Study

Keep in the loop here with the latest updates on this project:

The Smart Tank program provided a budget of $350,000 for investment in 'Smart City' projects. Projects were selected that met four criteria:

  • Research, experimentation, and testing of solutions to a challenge a CBCity department/team faced;
  • Being alignment with our 12 Smart CBCity principles;
  • Collaboration across units; and
  • Using technology, connectivity or data as an enabler to solve a challenge that will provide a real improvement to our community.

The goal of the Smart Tank program was to create and deliver an internal seed funding or grant program to accelerate the adoption of smart cities thinking and assist in delivering real improvement to our customers.

Twenty-eight teams applied for the program. Through a competitive process, five projects were selected to go ahead.

Less is More

The Less is More project team developed a plan to streamline and digitise internal processes within City of Canterbury Bankstown's Childcare Services. It was identified, through an internal audit, that processes were often highly manual and labour intensive. The Less is More project will explore new technology and electronic processes where forms and formats can be completed electronically, to increase efficiency and improve services for the community and our customers in Council's Childcare Services.

iSmart Service

A need has been identified for somebody to greet customers as they enter our Customer Service centres. The iSmart Service seeks to improve customer service by offering an efficient and customer-focussed digital 'concierge' at our Customer Service centres.

Customer Service currently has no data behind the number of 'walk-in' enquiries received, or the number of services offered, potential services that may be required within the area or ways to identify peak periods throughout the year.

iSmart will also reduce wait times during busier periods and during lunchtimes, and help manage service in the case of an emergency.

Project Rosetta Stone

Our City has a widely diverse population, with residents representing 129 nationalities and 200 language groups. Over 60% of residents speak a language other than English at home. This poses a great challenge when communicating, and engaging with our community. Project Rosetta Stone will look at exploring potential real-time translation devices to help CBCity improve communication with residents and position Council as an industry leader in the field of best practice communication and engagement.

e-CBDigital

e-CBDigital will explore the use of technology to reduce the cost and risk associated with governance, while also meeting corporate record-keeping guidelines for Council's Governance team, with the potential to go paperless across Council.

Council's Governance team identified a range of efficiencies that can be created in their processed, including saving on the cost of paper and document storage, reducing the risk of loss and increasing security and resolving any possible non-compliance with the State Records Act.

Sharing is Caring

Council's Asset Management team has identified an opportunity to be more creative in the delivery of information to residents. Sharing is Caring will use mapping tools to create a user-friendly platform for internal and external stakeholders to retrieve desired information effectively. Sharing is Caring will implement the use of data to create awareness of existing Council resources, increase accessibility, create a culture of data sharing and allowing our customers to access and visualise data more effectively.

Innovation is filled with jargon, buzzwords and technical talk that can sometimes make it painfully hard to get the answers you actually want - What is this new technology, idea or way of working? How does it work? Can it help me deliver better services to my community? How?

At CBCity, we’ve started our journey to understand how data, technology, and innovation as a process can build a better future for our City. We’ve done so by researching and synthesising the valuable information our staff, and local government officials more broadly, might like to know about. We’ve called these documents Thought Papers. They describe a possible future state, best practices, and relevant tech trends, and cover a range of topics, from the drivers of innovation in local government, to using mobile geospatial data to understand mobility patterns and space usage.

In sharing these papers, we hope to provoke some thought and inspire ideas on how we can work smarter in local government.

Big Mobile Data

Learn more about big mobile geospatial data, where it comes from, what insights it can provide, and how it can be used to better understand mobility and public space usage to support smarter decision making in local government.

Download here

Redefining Work

'Work' has been shifting in recent years. We're seeing the rise of blended work, where digital seamlessly melds into our physical spaces. We're re-designing our offices to support different modalities, from collaboration and communication to quiet deep work. And we're continuing to question, what's the real value in the office, and how do we unlock it?

Download here

Digital Trace: Web & Customer Analytics

How much do we really know about the people we’re serving? Do we know what services matter to them? Or who’s reaching us through our website? In this report we dive into our website and service request data to uncover insights about our community and their needs.

Download here

Driving Innovation in Cities

Innovating 'right' in city governments is a hard task. How do great cities transform an idea to a city-wide solution? We dive into two cities: Boston and Dublin to identify the three drivers of innovation.

Download here

Future Forecast: 2021 & Beyond

Do you find it hard to stay on top of the technology that can help you get stuff done faster, cheaper, and smarter? You’re not alone. We've demystified some of the most impactful emerging tech domains - AI, Recognition Tech, Service Digitisation, and Digital Twins that might help city government staff to deliver better services. Read on to learn about what they are and how you can tangibly apply them to your work.

Download here

Contact

​Digital Innovation (Smart Cities) Program Manager