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Comment on Australia’s ‘Smart Cities Plan’ launched last week

May 2, 2016 Business News No Comments Email Email

Australia’s cities have been named some of the best in the world. In a bid to improve and continue this trend, the Australian Government has launched its Smart Cities Plan. Aurecon’s Matt Coetzee, Aurecon’s Advisory Leader for Australia and New Zealand, comments on the launch below:



  •  We’re pleased that today’s announcement explicitly recognises the joint role of the private sector, the public sector and local communities.
  • The exciting thing about today’s announcement is that it advocates federal leadership in driving the development of liveable and productive cities. Through that leadership we look forward to the development of common objectives for our cities across all three tiers of government.
  • I am very encouraged to see real commitment to exploring the funding of projects through the value they bring to a city and a region. The opportunities which lie in the broad concept of value capture have not yet been fully leveraged in our cities, and the demonstrated commitment to that through the $50M of funding is very encouraging. 
  • The notion of City Deals (a core plank of the proposed cities plan) between a central government, a state or territory government and local governments has been successfully tested and implemented in other parts of the world, and does provide the opportunity to make our cities better places to live in and do business. City Deals allow governments, industry and communities to develop collective plans for growth and commit to the actions, investments, reforms and governance needed to implement them. This joint commitment is a key ingredient of success in our cities.
  • It is good to see that the focus incorporates growth in both our major centres and smaller regional cities. We need to ensure cities AND regions are smart, innovative and productive and we don’t develop smart cities at the expense of their hinterlands.

Aurecon is a thought leader who understands that the city agenda will require smart strategy for long term growth. Aurecon’s Just Imagine blog features a piece called Cities are being disrupted – who will win?


  • Strategic planning at a city level will create an advantage whereby one city ‘succeeds’ by comparison to others. The first city to truly adopt digital will become a magnet for industries and, as a result, a magnet for prosperity and liveability.
  • Cities should not be run in the here and now. They should be run as elite business entities and follow a blueprint for success. Unless they are actively identifying emergent risks and strategising for long term growth by seeking to create competitive advantage – they are, possibly, heading for a Kodak moment.

Feel free to contact me should you require further commentary by Matt Coetzee.

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