City Building Seminar - August

Why Smart Cities might be so 2017 – and what this means for urban innovation

Presented by Matthew Burke, Associate Professor, Cities Research Institute, Griffith University and Transport Academic Partnership Chair

There has been significant policy interest in Smart Cities as a means of harnessing the power of new IT solutions, urban sensors and Big Data to provide services more efficiently. But Smart Cities are also part of a broader set of initiatives with a long history in urban technology and planning to try and generate innovation.

So-called “Living Laboratories”, knowledge precincts and other techno-utopian dreams have usually foundered, falling short of expectations. Clustering knowledge-based land uses in new ways can be effective though, especially when involving large research universities.

Today’s most interesting experiment is Alphabet’s (Google’s) Quayside development in Toronto, where the firm is trialling tech solutions to urban problems, including shared mobility, via its Sidewalk Labs initiative. This presentation looks at what is happening in Toronto, highlights the recent history of such initiatives, discusses the critique of Smart Cities by key urban theorists, and explores what it all means for innovation in urban mobility. Recent Smart Cities initiatives in Australia and transport and land use planning for knowledge clustering in both Brisbane and the Gold Coast will be discussed.

Matthew Burke Bio

Matthew Burke’s research is mainly in travel behaviour, transport planning and the interactions of transport and land use.

Matthew helps coordinate much of his university’s transport research effort and he is leading the “Funding on the Line” project supported by the City of Gold Coast. Griffith University is now formally ranked in the top 100 universities in the world for research in the field of transportation science and technology

Date: Thursday, 30 August 2018

Time: 12.30pm presentation

Venue: HOTA, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise


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