North Sydney, Willoughby and Mosman Australia's 'smartest cities'



The lower North Shore’s three local government areas (LGAs), North Sydney, Willoughby and Mosman, are Australia’s top-performing cities, according to a new government backed report.

The ‘Smart Cities Down Under’ report was produced by the Queensland University of Technology with support from the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

It evaluated the performances of the 180 LGAs located in greater capital city statistical areas or with populations over 50,000 under the Australian Government’s 2016 Smart Cities Plan.

As such, the report covered close to 85 per cent of the Australian population.

It found that the North Shore LGAs came out on top when it came to productivity, innovation, liveability, wellbeing, sustainability, accessibility and good governance, and planning.

This was established by looking at indicators such as residents’ labour force participation, median income, health status, crime rate, housing affordability, use of active and public transport, uptake of electric vehicles and sustainable energy, and the availability of public WiFi and NBN. 

In the report, North Sydney was named Australia’s number one ‘smart city’, followed by Willoughby and then Mosman. 

North Sydney acting general manager Martin Ellis said North Sydney could likely contribute its top status in part to its ‘thriving centres of employment and engaged, well-educated community’. 

Similar sentiments were echoed by spokespersons for Willoughby and Mosman Councils, with Willoughby highlighting its strong transport links and Mosman its uptake of digital technologies, including digitised parking permits.

This is congruous with the report which found that the ‘smartest cities’ were often affluent areas, as the better liveability, and economic and education opportunities, attracted wealthier individuals to the area.

Hence the report found a clear disparity in quality of life between regional and country LGAs and their city counterparts.

Stephanie Aikins, Journalist, North Shore Living Magazine

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