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Smart Cities are Becoming a Reality and Could Have Positive Real Estate Effects

Tim Foster-Greenwood
Tim Foster-Greenwood

If you haven't yet heard about the Internet of Things, that's all about to change. Also known as IoT, it is the next technological revolution that is transforming everyday physical objects into 'smart' objects that are connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. By the year 2020, the number of connected devices in the IoT ecosystem is expected to double.

These connected objects are going to make everything in our lives "smart" including parking, energy, water, streetlights, bins, farms, homes, cars, and factories.

One major development that is already happening across the globe is the smart cities revolution. Using digital technologies, smart cities aim to deliver safer, more efficient and cost-effective services which improve communication and quality of life for residents.

Imagine for example a city where drivers can find out exactly where parking spots are available in streets and car parks using an app on their phone. Not only will we have fewer frustrated drivers on the roads, we'll also have better traffic flow on our streets.

Or smart bins which indicate exactly when they are reaching optimum capacity and need to be emptied. That means a city's waste management service can spend less time servicing empty bins and more time removing waste where it's needed. The result? Cleaner streets and the potential to save costs.

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Australia hasn't been left behind in this revolution and the country is now putting in place infrastructure that will facilitate development of smart cities.

The Australian government has invested $50 million through the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. This initiative aims at supporting projects applying smart technology, people-focused designs, and data to improve liveability of metropolitan areas.

Smart cities are starting to grow around Australia, driven by forward-thinking Councils in partnership with telecommunications companies, such as the National Narrowband Network Co (NNNCo) which provides networks built specifically for IoT. Some smart city projects happening right now include:

  • Newcastle City - the City has begun the installation of its LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) IoT network and is now trialling smart bins, smart parking, smart water metering, and soil moisture sensing for parks and sports grounds. The solutions are all about improving city efficiencies, sustainability and liveability.
  • Lake Macquarie - no longer content with being a sea change and lifestyle destination, Lake Macquarie is set to become a digital innovation city with the installation of an IoT network by NNNCo and a wide range of local businesses keen to join the network

More and more people will be attracted to smart cities as they grow across Australia and this is set to impact real estate prices over time. Convenience and time saving measures = Desirability = Greater Demand = Increase in Real Estate Prices. We think.?

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