Sydney has gotten a taste of what the future streets look like -- and they’re green, smart and agile.
The Future Street initiative was launched last week as part of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects’ International Festival, held in Sydney.
The Future Street was set up at Circular Quay, and featured a green street, smart street and complete street.
These three streets aimed to demonstrate the possibilities of dedicating less public space to cars and returning them to be used by the people.
Executive Director at Smart Cities Council, Adam Beck, said the initiative was a chance to show that the future is here.
“Green streets, complete streets and smart streets are often talked about theoretically, they’re often written about, so what we wanted to do was actually build one, so people can touch it and see it,” he said.
“That then lends itself to a bit of an advocacy platform, informing governments and the community what the benefits are.
“We hope it plays a role to improve understanding and an opportunity to scale and replicate.”
Charge up at your nearest park bench
The installation featured street furniture equipped with phone chargers, LED projectors with adjustable mounting, and 5G-enabled light poles.
Also, very popular within the installation was the smart street, which harnessed just some of the capabilities of the Internet of Things, for example, collecting data from smart bins that tell authorities when they need to be cleaned.
“One of the real goals in the smart street component was to really try and make the Internet of Things (IoT) tangible,” Beck said.
“What we tried to do was pull that out onto the street so that government and community can touch it and feel it, and understand what the power of IoT is.”
While some of the components, such as the driverless shuttlebus, may seem more distant than others, Beck challenged Sydney to start slowly welcoming change.
“Our proposition and challenge for Sydney, and I use the word Sydney as in the broader Sydney metro and all of the local authorities within that, is to try something new in your street design and street development,” he said.
“Take at least one, or multiple components within the demonstration project and try it in your next investment.”
Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, the Hon. Angus Taylor, launched the Future Street last Thursday, and used the occasion to outline the Federal Government’s plan to modernise our streets.
“Harnessing the power of technology will be key to the success of our cities. That’s why the Australian Government is investing $50 million through the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program to support technology to make our cities and towns work better,” he said.