Robotic street cleaners, sensors that detect when rubbish bins are full, seats with solar-powered charging stations and free WiFi are some of the Smart City technologies being considered for the redeveloped Ipswich Central.
Ipswich City Properties (ICP), the council-owned company delivering the most significant transformation of the city centre in more than 30 years, is working to create one of the world’s first digitally integrated entertainment, civic and retail precincts.
Giant LED screens for major entertainment and sporting events and touch screen technology that helps people navigate the city centre have also been proposed along with motion sensor street lighting.
“By combining state-of-the-art technology and world class urban design, Ipswich Central will be able to offer unique and exciting experiences for locals and visitors alike,” Ipswich Central Properties chairman Cr Paul Tully said.
“Smart city technologies will also unlock new economic opportunities for businesses through retail and dining apps that enable shoppers to make restaurant bookings or receive alerts about special deals on offer.
“Digital design can also help cut council’s costs through innovations like smart lighting which uses sensor technology to direct light when its needed for improved safety and security but reduces energy costs by turning them off when not required.”
Demolition on the old Woolworths building and adjacent retailers is nearing completion, opening up the city centre to river views from Brisbane Street for the first time in more than 30 years.
Cr Tully said Ipswich Central would become a 24/7 destination, transforming from a commercial and retail centre during the day into a vibrant hub at night with dining, bar and entertainment precincts.
More than 14,885 square metres is being devoted to civic space, plus a state-of-the-art library and new Ipswich City Council administration building, where digital kiosks could provide council customer service solutions through a smart city framework.
“Anyone may use the touch screen way-finding technology to locate a cafe where they are meeting a friend for coffee, while a mother could order a book at the library through the digital kiosk while her child plays in the augmented reality sandbox,” Cr Tully said.
“A tourist to Ipswich may download the app and take a self-guided history tour of the city centre while a group of university students meet around a smart bench in the civic area to talk about their group assignment while tapping into the free WiFi and charging their laptops on solar-powered stations.”
Whilst ICP has yet to determine the final Smart City framework for Ipswich Central, it was working to deliver a revitalised city centre and a connected, dynamic and vibrant hub.
“Ipswich Central will be a 24/7 destination, a place where cutting edge technology will meet world class urban design and where people will work, live and play in equal measure,” Cr Tully said.
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