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Switching on Darwin

Switching on Darwin is a $10M project which is delivering smart technology to encourage innovative solutions and enhance community life.

Bicentennial Park Playspace will be closed between

11 March - 15 March 2019

due to smart lighting upgrade.

The project will deliver a range of smart technologies including:

  • Upgrading street lights to LED smart lighting
  • Extension of free Wi-Fi network 
  • CCTV and video analytics 
  • Sensors for vehicle and pedestrian movement analysis
  • Smart parking technology
  • Microclimate monitoring systems
  • A smart city platform 

Switching on Darwin has many benefits for the Darwin community:

Visit our interactive map to see the benefits of this project.

Community safety: Technology will help to reduce anti-social behaviour and increase insights for emergency services.

Better services: Improving Council services and creating efficiencies in Council operations to minimise costs.

Environmental sustainability: Reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions, as well as improved understanding of heat, weather and environmental events.

Smart Planning: Technology and data will inform evidence-based planning and design to enhance the liveability of our city.

Innovation: New data sets available to the community and business sector to support citizen engagement, unlock innovation and create new business opportunities.

Improving public spaces: Public Wi-Fi, improved lighting, smart parking and understanding movement through the city to ensure the best use and provision of public space.

Switching on Darwin received grant funding from the Australian Government ($5 million), and $2.5 million each from the City of Darwin and the Northern Territory Government. The project commenced in February 2018 and will be completed by May 2019.

Latest Updates

Bicentennial Park Lighting Upgrades

The Bicentennial Park pathway lighting will be upgraded with new light poles and LED smart lights to enhance safety, reduce energy consumption and provide dynamic lighting.

Work will commence from Thursday 31 January and will be completed in stages to minimise impact on the community. The first stage to be completed is at the Daly Street end of the park and is expected to take up to two weeks. Each section will be fenced off during the work and detour pathways will be in place.

Please observe any safety signage on site when using the park during these works.

Technology contractor announced

City of Darwin has reached a significant milestone in the Switching on Darwin project, appointing Telstra as the prime contractor to deliver the suite of smart technologies for the Switching on Darwin project. Telstra bring vast technical expertise and experience working on a range of Australasian smart city projects. Telstra will work with local technology service providers including Top End Race and Security Technology Services to deliver the Switching on Darwin project for the Darwin community. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Lighting

What type of lights are being installed as part of the lighting upgrade?

Over 900 LED lights are being installed within the city centre? City of Darwin’s boundaries.  In most cases, this involves using existing light poles and just replacing the bulbs with LED smart lights.  The ‘smart’ lights can be dimmed or brightened remotely - either through a program or adhoc as required. Each light is individually adjustable.

How is the ‘smart’ functionality of the lights going to be used?

The ‘smart’ lights have the potential to be adjusted at the request of Police to help deter crime and anti-social behaviour or to brighten an area for an event or other activity.  The lights will also sense changes to light levels i.e. if a storm comes in and it becomes quite dark, they will automatically switch on to the appropriate level of light.

Will there be energy savings by swapping to LED lighting?

Yes, the installation of LED lighting will reduce energy consumption.  Currently, street lights in Darwin city are 80 watts, the new lights will be 45 watt LED lights, producing a much brighter output and reducing electricity consumption by around half.

What are the benefits of installing the LED lights vs existing lights in the CBD?

In addition to cost savings for City of Darwin, as a result of the energy savings through LED lighting, the new lights give greater flexibility to City of Darwin and NT Police to adjust lighting levels to respond to activity in the city or to cater for events or planned activities in the CBD.

Wi-Fi

How far is the free Wi-Fi being extended within the CBD?

The Wi-Fi network is being extended to cover along the full length of The Esplanade, as well as from Harry Chan Avenue through to the Knuckey Street end of the Mall.  This is designed to better cater for both locals and visitors (particularly those who may be coming off a cruise ship or from the Darwin Waterfront into the city and wanting to access Wi-Fi to help locate tourist destinations or services).

Can anyone access the City of Darwin Wi-Fi network, regardless of which provider they are with?

Yes, although the network is Telstra Air, anyone will be able to access it via their personal device, regardless of which provider they are with.

CCTV

What is the purpose of installing more CCTV in the CBD?

Increased CCTVs in the CBD will provide additional tools for Police to manage anti-social behaviour, as well as allowing City of Darwin to collect data around vehicle and pedestrian movement in the city which can be used for planning services.

Is City of Darwin’s CCTV going to be connected in with the systems Police use?

City of Darwin is coordinating with Police in relation to CCTV installation so that the systems are compatible and identified sites appropriate.  Police will receive the CCTV footage live into their monitoring area so that they can respond quickly to any issue that arises. The CCTV network will be fully managed by NT Police.

Where is CCTV being installed?

A number of additional CCTV cameras are being installed along The Esplanade, in Mitchell, Smith and Cavenagh Streets as well as in Knuckey Street and at key intersections with in the CBD.

Will the system use facial recognition to identify people who are potentially doing the wrong thing?

The CCTV system City of Darwin is installing does not include facial recognition.

How is the footage captured through CCTV stored?  Who has access to it?  How long is it stored for?

NT Police will fully manage the CCTV system including storage of footage which will be kept for 30 days. Any requests for access to footage will be managed by NT Police.

Can the CCTV footage be used by Police or other organisations for legal purposes?

Any requests to use footage would need to go through NT Police. 

Environmental Sensors

What information will these sensors be capturing?

24 sensors are being installed within the CBD and broader Darwin to monitor different environmental factors such as:

  • Humidity levels
  • Wind speed and direction
  • Rainfall levels
  • CO2 levels
  • NO2 levels (Nitrogen Oxide)
  • O3 (Ozone levels)
  • Temperature
  • Noise levels
  • Dust levels

The data will be fed into a dashboard where it can be analysed by City of Darwin and made available to other organisations on request.  This will allow for improved planning, service delivery and greater understanding of local environmental trends. A snapshot of key data will be available to the public via City of Darwin’s website.

Is the information collected through the sensors, available to the public or other organisations?

Yes. The data will be available through the City of Darwin website.  Organisations who may want to access data over a period of time, can request via City of Darwin and receive the data free of charge.

Is there a cost to access the data?

No.

What benefits does this data collection have for City of Darwin?

The benefits to City of Darwin in terms of service delivery include:

  • Identifying efficiencies to reduce costs e.g. through understanding rain levels in certain areas and subsequently reducing watering programs
  • Better understanding of heat, weather and environmental events
  • Greater understanding of vehicle and pedestrian movement within the CBD

About the project

What is a smart city?

A Smart City is the:

  • Effective integration of physical, digital and human systems in the built environment to deliver a sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future for its citizens (ISO PAS 180, 2014).

City of Darwin is finding smart solutions to improve services to the community. Switching on Darwin is a significant project driving smart solutions for the City of Darwin. The Switching on Darwin project will enable the use of technology and data to enhance, maintain and find efficiency in how we deliver services in the city for residents, businesses and visitors.

Are there other cities introducing ‘smart projects’?

Yes.

There are dozens of examples within Australia and hundreds worldwide that are using technology and data to make cities and regions more liveable, sustainable and efficient.

Examples include:

Why are we suddenly focusing on creating ‘smart cities’?

Smart cities may be a new term, however City of Darwin have been on the journey for some time. This has been in progress in various forms over the past few years, examples include:

  • Pay Stay parking app to make paid parking more convenient
  • Click and Fix app for easier community access to report issues to Council
  • Electronic forms to simplify submissions to Council
  • Online payment services
  • Online engagement platform to improve engagement between Council and the community

As stated in our Strategic Plan, much of this is about better collaborating and engaging more closely with the public and aligning services and needs of the community. There is also a deep sustainability and environmental management commitment from both Council and the community which enhances our smart city vision.

In summary our Switching on Darwin project is about:

  • Enabling better decision making within Council, using technology and data to support decisions
  • To have more real time data, rather than delayed information (meaning we can act faster)
  • Providing a safer city and reducing antisocial behaviour
  • Using technology to find energy efficiencies (such as smart lighting)
  • To provide more convenient services to citizens
  • To find greater efficiencies in council operations to minimise costs

 

Why is City of Darwin spending $10M on technology projects?

The technology will enable the smart solutions for our city. It will provide the services, information and data to enable us to work with the community to plan, design and develop the best ways for you to live, work and play in Darwin.

How is the project being funded?
  • Australian Government $5,000,000
  • Northern Territory Government $2,500,000
  • City of Darwin $2,500,000
What are the benefits of the Switching on Darwin project to the Darwin community?

Community safety: Using technology to reduce anti-social behaviour and increase insights for emergency services.

Improved services: Improving Council services and creating efficiencies in Council operations to minimise costs

Environmental sustainability: Reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions, as well as improved understanding of heat, weather and environmental events

Smart Planning: Leveraging data and technology to inform evidence-based planning and design to enhance the liveability of our city

Innovation: New data sets available to the community and business sector to support citizen engagement, unlock innovation and create new business opportunities

Improving public spaces: Extension of Wi-Fi, improved lighting, smart parking and understanding movement through the City to ensure the best use and provision of public space 

Is the project aimed at tourists or locals?

Both.

The project is to enhance service delivery, improve safety, provide better Council amenities, enhance community life, sustainability and public space usage.

What’s the $10M going to be spent on?

Switching on Darwin will contribute to revitalising the city, stimulate new partnerships and business growth, create job opportunities and help to improve community safety and social cohesion.Switching on Darwin will deliver a range of smart technologies including:

  • Upgrade of city centre street lights to LED smart lighting, with dynamic lighting and an expected 50% reduction in energy consumption
  • Extension of the free Wi-Fi network in the city centre
  • Installation of CCTV and video analytics to improve community safety
  • Installation of sensors for vehicle and pedestrian movement analysis
  • Smart parking sensors to improve accessibility of parking in the city centre and provide data for future planning
  • Microclimate monitoring system including heat, humidity, rain and sound monitoring 
  • Establishment of a smart city platform to capture data from the new technology and an open data platform to make data available to the community and business sector 
How did you decide what projects to fund through this money?

By prioritising the critical barriers to growth within the region and ongoing feedback from the community identifying key issues and opportunities:

  • Enhancing public safety
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Heat mitigation and environmental impact effects
  • Efficiency of service delivery
  • Equitable access to services
How do I as a resident or business owner have a say in what’s happening in the city under this project?

darwin.nt.gov.au/switchingondarwin will provide ongoing project updates and allows you to provide feedback.

We will be engaging with the community throughout the project period through events such as hackathons and pop up stalls, details of these will be updated on the web page once confirmed.

What’s the timeframe for the project to be rolled out?

Work is already underway. Switching on Darwin will be delivered between now and May 2019.

Why is the project only running in the city centre and not other areas of the municipality?

During the initial trials, we intend to use the city centre as the area for the first batch of technology. This is both a practical decision and a decision aimed at reducing the delivery cost of the program.

It is intended that future stages of the project will scale out successful trial elements to the wider region.

How do I keep updated on where the project is up to?

darwin.nt.gov.au/switchingondarwin

Last modified 
06 Mar 2019

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