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Perth set for smart infrastructure future: global expert

Smarter Planning Perth helps government agencies and utilities collaborate on infrastructure projects, reducing the impact on the city.

A global smart cities expert has praised “internationally cutting edge” technology that will slash the traffic congestion, time and costs associated with infrastructure developments across Perth.

Smarter Planning Perth (SPP) allows government agencies and utilities involved in infrastructure works to better collaborate, share costs and coordinate timetables.

Launched last week by the City of Perth council with the assistance of Esri Australia, the mapping-based system lets users upload works data such as timelines, equipment needed and the locations affected.

The system then analyses the information and automatically identifies where the different parties can work together and share resources.

Frustrating commuter issues – such as when a road is excavated and re-laid for one set of works, only to be dug up again just weeks later for another – could be virtually eliminated, with SPP ensuring all works are completed during the one timeframe.

An efficient city is a more attractive city to be in, and Perth will see wide-ranging flow-on effects.” – Brett Bundock

ATCO Gas Australia, City of Perth, Main Roads Western Australia, Water Corporation and Western Power are among the initial partners in the system, however it is expected the list of stakeholders will steadily grow.

Former Governor of the US state of Maryland Martin O’Malley – who was in Australia to advise leaders on how to develop the country’s capitals into smart cities –said SPP was among the best government-industry collaboration tools he’d seen.

“Around the world we’re seeing innovators rethinking how infrastructure development is undertaken to reduce the impact works have on economic and social growth,” Governor O’Malley said.

“By providing an automated platform that streamlines and synchronises collaboration between government and industry, SPP is truly at the cutting edge of this approach.”

City of Perth CEO Martin Mileham said the system was already reducing works congestion and duplication and cutting project timeframes.

“This is already benefiting the city’s road users, utilities customers and ratepayers,” Mr Mileham said.

“This will strengthen community confidence in government and industry to develop the city faster more efficiently, as well as encouraging more people to contribute to the local economy.

“SPP is also a sign of City of Perth’s commitment to using innovative technology to underpin the capital’s growth and infrastructure opportunities.”

Esri Australia’s managing director, Brett Bundock said Perth would become more efficient, business friendly and attractive as an international tourism destination.

“An efficient city is a more attractive city to be in, and Perth will see wide-ranging flow-on effects like increased desirability for tourists and faster transit for public motorists and commercial transport users,” Mr Bundock said.

President of ATCO Gas Australia, Pat Donovan, said SPP builds upon ATCO’s already collaborative approach to works around the Perth metropolitan area.

“ATCO is always seeking continual improvement in operations and delivery of a safe, reliable and cost-efficient energy choice for customers,” Mr Donovan said.

“We’ve already collaborated successfully with the Water Corporation to align works and minimise disruption to our customers and the broader community. This program has provided a fantastic opportunity to broaden these collaborative opportunities and we forward to its continued evolution,” he added.

SPP has been announced as a Finalist for Western Australia’s premier technology prizes, the WA Information Technology and Telecommunications Alliance (WAITTA) 2017 INCITE Awards.

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