Above: Brisbane Airport captured on 3 November, 2018. Work on the airport's second runway began in 2012, and is set to open in 2020.
This is the third in a three-part blog series exploring how new 3D geocontent is changing the way infrastructure gets built in modern cities.
We’ll be demo’ing our wide-scale, frequently refreshed 3D datasets at Esri Australia's User Conference, Ozri, in Melbourne this week. To book a meeting with us at Ozri in Melbourne (21 Nov), get in touch.
Navigating to the holy grail of a livable city
The holy grail of urban planners and governments is the so-called “smart city” that’s on the lips of every futurist with a LinkedIn account. But the path to that utopia of connectedness, sustainability, and livability can be strewn with obstacles, not the least of which is starting the planning process with outmoded, incomplete, or poor quality location intelligence.
To understand how current geospatial information underpins smart city planning, we need to take a step back and look at the overall picture of our future cities. Smart and Resilient Cities
lists geospatial technology as one of the six essential technologies for creating a smart city, and the fifth Cities in Motion Index
names nine dimensions that are the most important factors for a smart and sustainable city: economy, social cohesion, human capital, environment, governance, urban planning, technology, international outreach, and mobility and transportation.
Why is public transport such a priority for transforming cities? Sustainability and livability, as well as opening up development corridors and opportunities, can only be achieved with the evolution of public transport. Billions are now being spent on projects such as the Melbourne and Sydney metro rail lines, Canberra light rail, and extensions to the Sydney and Gold Coast tram networks; however, a recent report
found that compared to transport initiatives in cities such as Hong Kong, Chennai, and London, these are still “catch up” projects.
The historic under-investment in public transport in Australian cities means we have to invest more innovation and expenditure to move ahead in world terms. A recent Infrastructure Australia report
makes clear recommendations:
- A rapid increase in the delivery of high quality, higher density housing. The report found that each of our cities will need to deliver about 500,000 to 700,000 additional dwellings over the next 15 to 20 years.
- Timetable-free, “turn up and go” train and bus services – similar to New York, Singapore, London, and Berlin.
- Addressing an imbalance between the inner and outer suburbs of our cities by delivering infrastructure to the outskirts of urban areas.
- Governments and regulators who are responsive to emerging technologies and ensure regulatory settings maximise opportunities to increase productivity.
We are already seeing how transformative transport initiatives might positively impact Australian cities. Game-changing projects like the proposed VIC Rail Loop would carry 400,000 passengers a day and take 200,000 cars off major roads. So what’s the difference between an expensive transport upgrade, and a truly innovative transport project? To answer that, we need to consider what factors make a transit system integral to a smart city.