The Queensland regional city of Townsville has joined the ranks of cities like Moscow, Philadelphia and Belfast after being named one of the world’s smart cities by the Intelligent Community Awards Program.
The program assesses categories such as digital equality, provision of air space, air quality, sustainability programs and broadband connectivity.
Townsville’s focus is on innovative collaboration
Mayor Jenny Hill said the award further bolstered Townsville’s reputation as a smart city with a focus on innovative collaboration. It is the largest city in Northern Australia and the fourth-largest city in Queensland, with a population of around 180,000 people (2016 census).
“Council is committed to growing a city that can support business today, while also creating avenues for the businesses of the future to thrive in North Queensland,” Hill said.
“It’s rewarding to see our city’s efforts being recognised on the world stage. We’re in great company alongside major cities like Moscow and Philadelphia in our mission to harness the potential of technology to help make Townsville a fantastic place to live – now and into the future.”
Big data is achieving digital equality across city
Hill said that, with an ever-growing population, it was essential that the local community continue our work to help make Townsville a leading smart city. This meant global connectivity, growing ICT skills among local residents, and using big data to achieve digital equality across the city.
There was also a need to increase environmental sustainability and to create more opportunities for the industries of the future.
“This recognition is well-deserved by Townsville for its decade-long work and vision to bring a smart city mindset to how it works and designs city services and programs,” said James Cook University (JCU) eResearch Director, Professor Ian Atkinson.
Remote but in the same category as mega-cities
“It’s not an easy thing for a regional city to be acknowledged in the same place as world mega-cities — especially for a place as remote as Townsville.
“JCU is one of several world-class organisations based in the city and I think that is too easily forgotten. By working on the platforms of the future we will make our future more prosperous and sustainable.”
Among the other cities named as smart cities in 2021 are Adelaide and Prospect in South Australia, Wellington in New Zealand, Sunshine Coast in Queensland and Winnipeg in Canada.