Future Ready Cities – Australia

The key words in my view are SMART technology.   Future Ready is a Government initiative.



This content relates to functions that have transferred to the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. More information is available in the Administrative Arrangements Order introduced on 20 December 2017 or contact cities@infrastructure.gov.au.

Our cities—regional and metropolitan – are where most Australians live and where most of the nation’s economic output is produced.

On 20 September 2015 the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, announced cities as a national priority for the Australian Government. 

To succeed in the 21st Century economy our cities need to be liveable, accessible and productive. Great cities attract, retain and develop increasingly mobile talent and organisations, encouraging them to innovate, create jobs and support growth.

The Smart Cities Plan is another way the Government is building an agile, innovative and prosperous nation.

Go to the Cities website if you want to know more about the Smart Cities Plan or have your say.



Smart Cities Plan

Australia’s cities – regional and metropolitan – are some of the best in the world. To succeed in the 21st Century economy our cities need to be productive and accessible, but they also need to be liveable. Great cities attract talent and investment – they encourage innovation and create jobs and growth. Our future prosperity depends upon government, business and the Australian community working together to support our cities, big and small. On 29 April 2016, the Australian Government launched its Smart Cities Plan. The Smart Cities Plan will help build an agile, innovative and prosperous nation. All Australians are encouraged to share their ideas to help shape the cities agenda.


Note: bold is mine.

The Australian Government is committed to working with governments, business and the community to position our cities, regional and metropolitan, to reach their full potential.

The Smart Cities Plan (External link)will position our cities to succeed in the 21st Century economy. It is a plan for supporting productive, accessible, liveable cities that attract talent, encourage innovation and create jobs and growth.

The Smart Cities Plan represents a new framework for cities policy at the federal level – and it is a framework that will guide action across various portfolios, to deliver better outcomes for our cities, the people who live in them and all Australians.

Our cities – the CBDs, the suburbs and our regional centres – are where most of us live and work.

As our economy continues to transition and our knowledge-based industries grow, so too do our cities.

To respond to this growth, and take advantage of tomorrow’s economic opportunities, we need to rethink the way our cities are planned, built and managed today.

Our economic transition and growth is important, but it can present challenges. It is placing pressure on housing affordability, access to local jobs and our natural environment, as well as increasing congestion and traffic.

The Smart Cities Plan sets out the Australian Government’s vision for our cities, and our plan for maximising their potential.

It includes three pillars: Smart Investment, Smart Policy and Smart Technology.

To deliver the Smart Cities Plan, the Australian Government will invite state and territory governments to partner on City Deals(External link).

City Deals will provide common objectives across levels of government, support for key industry and employment centres, infrastructure investment linked to broader reform and changes to planning and governance arrangements to deliver enduring benefits.

City Deals and the Smart Cities Plan are not just for our capital cities, or just for our CBDs. It is for cities of all sizes and for all parts of cities. Across Australia, cities are facing different opportunities and challenges.

All Australians are encouraged to share their ideas and to help shape our cities of the future.

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Future Ready

building smart cities know-how

Future Ready is a smart cities incubator series that sits alongside the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program(External link). It uses collaboration, connection and co-learning to grow smart city capability.

On-site and virtual activities bring people together to work through urban challenges, take ideas forward and learn from each other.

Future Ready is open to all.





share your smart idea

We’re in the process of creating a new smart cities collaboration platform(External link) on the Digital Marketplace(External link).
But we need your help to make it work. You can add a smart city project right now, no matter what stage you’re at.

Get in today to connect with and learn from local governments building smart communities and digital services in user-centred, data-informed ways.


masterclass testimonials

“Amazingly different insights – food for thought. We are now focused on what being smart city means for our community” David Adamson, Program Leader – Business Solutions, Logan City Council

“Very Informative, very inspiring. We have a smart city blueprint and now it is time to take stock and make sure we know what the citizens want.” Samantha Smith, Coordinator – Environment and Sustainability, Ipswich City Council

“This has been a step change” Clr James Owen, Tweed Shire Councilex

Missed an event? Don’t worry. You can find videos and resources from Future Ready events
at the links below.


Fast-start induction


Everything you need to know about Future Ready activities, delivery partners and how to get involved.

5 May

videos and slides(External link)


Global smart city perspectives


Renowned international smart city expert Sergio Fernandez de Cordova from New York City shares his insights.

11 May

videos and slides(External link)


workshop – Brisbane

Smart city leaders developed their skills, knowledge and capabilities
at the Brisbane masterclass.

17 May



A conversation with councils going smart: city, regional and remote


There is no smart community template but you can learn lots from what others have done. Explore approaches taken in Canberra, the Sunshine Coast, and Broken Hill.

18 May

videos and slides(External link)


workshop – Sydney

Smart city leaders developed their skills, knowledge and capabilities
at the Sydney masterclass.

22 May


Co-learning lab

workshop – Adelaide

Learn, collaborate and create with local governments, industry, researchers, not for profits and innovators at this co-learning lab.

29 May

overview of the day(External link)
visuals and resources(External link)


workshop – Melbourne

Smart city leaders developed their skills, knowledge and capabilities
at the Melbourne masterclass.

8 June

Embracing the Internet of Things to accelerate smart cities outcomes


IoT has been described as the engine room for smart cities. Join leading IoT experts to find out why.

13 June

videos and slides(External link)


workshop – Perth

Smart city leaders developed their skills, knowledge and capabilities
at the Perth masterclass.

15 June

Community Engagement



Community engagement and citizen-centric design are central to successful smart city projects. Learn more from leaders in the field.

23 June


Smart City Leadership – a conversation with San Jose’s Kip Harkness


webinar – wherever you are

Kip Harkness, Deputy City Manager, is gathering a tribe of Civic Innovators to transform the City of San Jose. Learn about the pain, purpose and process involved in creating an innovation roadmap to drive your smart city vision.

16 August


Thinking Smart – Creating a
culture of innovation

webinar – wherever you are

Learn how to shape a culture of innovation in your council and community. From co-design thinking, incubators, accelerators, living labs, innovation districts and digital placemaking, discover innovation tools that help to build sustainable smart cities.

21 November

A conversation with the Digital Transformation Agency


Learn how the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Agency is spearheading a transformation of government service delivery across the country.

19 July


Smart City Leadership – a conversation with Sunshine Coast’s Cr Steve Robinson

webinar – wherever you are

Smart City Leadership by elected officials involves vision and engagement with the community. Steve will discuss the Sunshine Coast Council’s Smart City mandate, momentum and coordination, with an opportunity for Q&A.

27 September



Smart Financing, Funding and Procurement

webinar – wherever you are

Many smart city projects require rethinking traditional approaches to financing, funding and procurement. Explore a range of methods to secure funding for your smart city projects, how to select and manage partners and vendors, and ways to improve procurement processes.

7 December

Smart City Street Lighting – a conversation with IPWEA’s experts

webinar – wherever you are

IPWEA’s Smart Street Lighting experts, Bryan King(External link) and Godfrey Bridger(External link), will explain how to create your smart city backbone for efficiency, connectivity, innovation and sustainability.

3 August


Community Engagement and
Customer Service

webinar – wherever you are

Technology offers unprecedented opportunities for local governments to be innovative in how they engage with the community and improve service delivery. Gain valuable insights into using digital technology to proactively engage citizens in building smart cities.

16 November



Urban Data and Governance

webinar – wherever you are

Learn how to leverage technologies, big data and an ever-growing array of digital platforms to solve urban challenges. Explore data management, modelling and analytics, networking and IoT as well as data security, privacy and future proofing.

28 November





Graphic summary of the Co-Learning Lab



our partners

  (External link)   (External link)  

The Cities Leadership Institute is dedicated to building the capacity of urban leaders to make cities, towns and communities great places.

Using its global reach and international networks, the Institute conducts a range of professional development programs, international exchanges and public forums for individuals and organisations across the public and private sectors.

The Cities Leadership Institute partners with organisations and academic institutions around Australia with shared values and objectives.


ASCA is Australia’s peak smart city group, working with our members and partners across Australia (and internationally) to build digital maturity, and accelerate smart city action and outcomes.

ASCA facilitates, promotes and advises on how communities can build liveable, sustainable, workable smart cities. We put our citizens, local businesses and stakeholders at the core of our activities.

Our membership includes representatives from local governments, Regional Development Australia committees, Regional Organisations of Councils, industry, businesses and individuals who collectively represent 1 in 3 Australians.

  (External link)   (External link)  

The Smart Cities Council is the world’s largest network of smart cities practicioners and policy makers, embracing technology, data, and intelligent design to accelerate liveability, workability and sustainability outcomes in our cities and towns.

The SCC has a global footprint, with offices in some of the world’s largest and emerging smart cities markets – North America, Europe, India and Australia New Zealand – enabling us to harness best practice and share it globally.


The Digital Transformation Agency is transforming how the Australian government buys digital services. For buyers, the Digital Marketplace gives all levels of government access to hundreds of pre-approved digital businesses, providing the services needed to deliver smarter city innovations.

For sellers, the Digital Marketplace makes it easier to connect with government and showcase expertise in areas such as emerging technology, strategy and policy and data science. To join the Digital Marketplace as a buyer or seller, or to find out more,
visit the marketplace(External link).


Mohandas Gandhi

“God has no religion”