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Council and UNSW to create ‘Smart Social Spaces’ in local area


Innovative and responsive technologies will soon find their way into public spaces within the Georges River area thanks to the University of New South Wales’ Smart Social Spaces Project.

The project, which is funded as part of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, will see UNSW’s Built Environment Team research and investigate how technology can be used to activate public spaces and better connect them with the community.

Mayor of Georges River Council, Councillor Kevin Greene, said he was very excited that Council will be involved in the project with UNSW.

“We are one of a few councils in NSW that will be taking part in the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program,” Councillor Greene said.

“With technology becoming more and more prevalent in day-to-day life, Council is very keen to explore the role it can play in connecting the community to public spaces and how it can help to understand the needs of the community.”

“By working with UNSW to research how responsive technologies can be introduced into public spaces, this presents us the opportunity to be a leading Council in using technology to better manage and develop facilities and public spaces,” he said.

“This project will focus on the design and delivery of ‘healthy living hardware’ in Olds Park in Penshurst and Memorial Square in Hurstville,” said Mayor Greene.

“Examples of this may be improvements to outdoor cooking facilities to include preparation areas and wash stations.”

“It will also include incorporating technology on amenities or street furniture that can alert Council when repairs are required, or when bins need to be emptied.”

“Sensors can also be placed on facilities, which will be connected with social media sites, and provide information about the use of the space,” he added.

“The positive roll-on effects for users of the spaces include increased public safety, better designed green spaces and even greater social equity and cohesion, as areas that require specific attention are identified.”

Mayor Greene highlighted that Council wishes to ensure the Georges River area retains the qualities that make it a great place to work, meet and play.

“I expect that the outcomes of the work UNSW and Council will undertake will go a long way in helping us achieve this.”

The Smart Social Spaces project is funded through the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. UNSW received over $260,000 through the program and is co-contributing $360,000 to fund the project.

The technology and Healthy Living Hardware will be installed in May.

For more information please call 9330 6400. 
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