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Christchurch on the road to becoming a Smart City

29 Jan 2016

The Christchurch City Council has announced it will provide $330,000 in funding for new sensing technologies that offer real-time information about issues like traffic congestion, water quality and air pollution.

According to Deputy Mayor Vicky Buck, the investment aims to help Christchurch become a Smart City, with the aim of doing things more sustainably and more effectively through the use of technology.

"We want to get to the point where people can get amazing information in real-time that helps them make choices about where to swim or what road to take,” explains Buck. “We will all know much more about the city's environment -- for example the rivers and air quality -- at any given moment."

Other ways Smart Cities will provide healthier environments include improvements to energy use, such as smart meters and greener buildings, and water use through the use of smart meters and leakage identification and prevention, she says.

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is also providing $330,000 in funding and NEC $200,000 for the programme's early stages in Christchurch. The Mayor will sign a Smart City Collaboration Protocol with NEC.

"The partnership with the government, NEC and others offers a great opportunity for us to start creating more opportunities through the use of open data, opportunities we can't even see yet,” says Buck.

The Council will work with Environment Canterbury, the University of Canterbury, NZ Police, ambulance services, central government, social agencies, private enterprise, and other local councils to help Christchurch become a Smart City, in a smart Canterbury and with the ultimate goal of a smart nation.

Buck says Auckland and Wellington are also trialling the technology as it is seen as an important next step in enhancing urban environments globally.

“This technology can help create safer communities and Council will be taking guidance from the Privacy Commissioner who is working closely with LINZ on the Smart Cities programme,” she says.

The programme also forms part of the Greater Christchurch Resilience Plan.

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