The Smart Cities Council Australia and New Zealand (SCCANZ) has kicked off a project to develop a code for smart communities, naming the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) as a partner in the project and Place Design Group as its technical partner.

SCCANZ is part of the global Smart Cities Council, based in Seattle, and SCCANZ executive director Adam Beck described the plan to develop the code as “huge” saying: “This is a global project for the Smart Cities Council, but is starts here, in the Australia/New Zealand region, before we take it internationally.

“In October, we will take a draft of the code and show it to the rest of the world at Smart Cities Week in Washington, DC, our international conference that brings together government and industry smart cities leaders.”

Beck said that over the next three months a group of “committed smart cities practitioners and policy makers” would undertake a sprint development process to scope the core goals, principles and metrics for smart urban development.

“The Code will become a voluntary reference guide for urban development projects, helping them frame their approach to embracing technology, data and intelligent design to accelerate the best possible sustainability outcomes.”

He said that SCCANZ would bring industry and government together to work on the code, and is inviting participation from anyone interested. “You can take an active, or passive role, depending on your time constraints. Join one of our studio sessions to work along-side your peers in workshopping the code’s content, or put your name on the reviewer list.”

The Council has produced a scoping paper on the planned code. It says the aim is to put some constraints on what can be considered a smart community.

“Without definition, anything is success. Without this code, any community could be a smart community. This is why the code is so important. It will provide definition, guidance, boundaries, and support.”

 It lists the objectives of the code as being to:

  • Establish a common language for government, private sector, and community stakeholders on the definition and scope of a smart community
  • Provide guidance to policy makers and project planners and developers on the core outcomes a smart community should aspire to achieve
  • Provide a suite of goals, principles, and metrics that can be used in shaping smart technology solutions and data management investments for urban development projects.

Place Design Group is an Australian owned planning and design consultancy with offices in Australia, South East Asia and China. According to SCCANZ it is “a thought leader, provocateur, and advocate for accelerating industry dialogue and project application of big data and analytics in city-shaping practices, and continues to work with its clients to research and test human-centric smart cities approaches.”

GBCA “has been the leading force in driving sustainable buildings and communities in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa through the Green Star rating system for buildings and communities”, SCCANZ says.  Almost 1,500 projects around Australia have Green Star ratings.