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ChillOUT Hubs Project closes with 97% of community supportive

24/11/2020

Georges River Council has completed its ChillOUT: Smart Social Spaces project, which featured the installation and testing of three smart outdoor spaces in Mortdale Town Centre, Timothy Reserve Hurstville and Belgrave Street Kogarah.

The world-first multi-functional Hubs are fully IT-enabled, with smart furniture, solar power, charging points, and environmental sensors which measure and monitor the microclimate, utility consumption, and public use of the space.

The hubs, which are designed to increase community connectivity, enable knowledge sharing, and provide flexible spaces for work and social activities, were a unique collaborative project between Council, University of New South Wales and Street Furniture Australia.

A community survey of more than 400 hub users revealed significant community support for the hubs, with 97.4% of respondents agreeing that they improved the local area, and 92.6% saying the hubs made them feel connected to community.

93.1% of ChillOUT Hub users surveyed said that they would like to see additional hubs in the local area, with the top three locations identified as parks (24.0%), town squares (16.8%), and street corners (13.2%).

Users provided valuable insights into how the ChillOUT Hubs could be improved, including the provision of additional shade, water taps, and plantings. Hubs could also cater to a larger group of users by incorporating mist machines or heaters, controlled lights, bike racks, and benches with backs.

Council can use survey findings to modify, install, and scale-up ChillOUT Hubs in other local spaces to improve the public domain, increase connectivity, and continue to drive innovation in the Georges River area’s transformation towards a Smart City.

The smart cities partnership between Georges River Council, the University of New South Wales and Street Furniture Australia received a highly commended award from the Committee for Sydney in the 2019 Smart City Awards. Council wishes to thank project partners Street Furniture Australia and the University of New South Wales for their valuable contribution to the project.

For more information on Georges River Council, please visit www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au or call 9330 6400.

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