20 Oct 2015
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Auckland and Christchurch global smart city winners

By Heather Wright

Christchurch’s ‘Sensing City’ and an Auckland City Council geographic information system (GIS) and 3D smart zoning initiative have been named ‘outstanding smart city initiatives’ by IDC.

The two initiatives made it on to IDC Asia/Pacific’s list of ‘most outstanding smart city initiatives in Asia Pacific’.

While Singapore and China dominate, topping four and three of the 14 categories, respectively, New Zealand too, made a strong showing with the two wins.

More than 500 entries were received for the awards. An international panel of senior IDC analysts from the United States and EMEA then voted on the shortlisted cities.

The Christchurch Sensing City initiative won the administration category.

Sensing City is a ‘world-first project’ according to its creators, and will see Christchurch ‘be a living laboratory for the 21st century city. The project sees sensors installed around Christchurch to collect real-time information on a range of variables, including pedestrian and vehicle traffic flow, water and air pollution, to improve how the city functions.

“The Sensing City initiative seeks to be a catalyst to creating a step change in the New Zealand economy. It also aims to help realise Christchurch’s vision of becoming a world class exporter-based information economy,” Sensing City’s website says.

Gerry Brownlee, Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, says the project is ‘an extraordinary global opportunity to be able to better understand how cities really work, and to use that knowledge to meet some of the urbanisation challenges of the 21st century’.

Among the aims of the project are measuring water quality and communicating real-time traffic information and health informatics in regards to respiratory illness.

Auckland City’s GIS and 3D smart zoning win came in the permitting, licensing, inspection and zoning category.

The winners will all be recognised at the 2015 Asia Pacific Smart City Development Forum in China in November.

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