The Gold Coast is on track to becoming Australia’s most online-ready city thanks to the cutting-edge Digital City Program.
Through data gathering, data transmission, analysis and projects, this program delivers a host of benefits such as:
- enhanced public safety via an extensive security camera network
- high-speed telecommunications systems to support the local economy
- the free Surf Network, Australia’s geographically largest and fastest publicly owned Wi-Fi network, collecting data to enable a more efficient use of city resources.
A flood assessment system and new parking technology are two innovations that have benefitted from the Digital City Program.
The first enables the Natural Hazards department to predict where flooding might occur and respond effectively, while the second manages parking resources during periods of peak use. This big data analysis gives insight on the needs of our businesses, residents and visitors, from beach usage to traffic congestion.
Data can be used to understand the ‘before, during and after’ of major infrastructure projects, such as an area’s light rail development, or to identify economic opportunities for local businesses.
The council can also use free Wi-Fi data to gain a near real-time understanding of how many people use certain areas. This can help determine where volunteers are deployed during events, for example. We have even been able to identify the ‘four-hour visitor’ to the city, some 360,000 people not captured by tourism research statistics who make short visits to the region every weekend. This represents hundreds of thousands of new economic opportunities for businesses.
Boosting this city-wide digital program is the 200-hectare Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct, a hub for hi-tech industry development and research collaboration. The precinct’s Lumina commercial cluster is supported by $5 billion in infrastructure, including the world-class Griffith University and two major hospitals including the Gold Coast University Hospital, a facility that itself is at the cutting edge of technology.