First Smart Cities Funding Announced

The Australian Government has made its first grants under its Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

The grants are to Darwin to ‘switch on’ the city, and to a number of smaller projects in Perth. The program, announced in March 2017 has earmarked $50 million for projects across Australia, with 40 percent of the total to be located in regional areas.

Darwin is the big winner from the first round of grants, with $5 million awarded to the City of Darwin and the Northern Territory Government, who will each contribute $2.5 million to the $10 million project.

First Smart Cities Funding Announced | Safe Cities

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The money will pay for the installation of CCTV cameras at entrances to the city and on Daly Street and Bennett Street in the CBD. Street lighting will be upgraded to LED lighting and on ‘smart’ columns with the capacity to adjust lighting to reduce street crime.

In Bicentennial Park along the Darwin foreshore, smart lighting will include sound monitoring to detect people in distress and potentially notify policy and emergency services.

No mention was made in the announcement of the fact that the ‘street crime’ and ‘people in distress’ are mostly homeless or indigenous people. The NT Government has recently announced a program to address ‘anti-social itinerant behaviour’ on Darwin’s streets.

Homeless (‘itinerant’) Aborigines (‘’Indigenous people’ hanging around the streets, often drunk and engaging in petty street crime, is a major problem in Darwin. In September a video of a shop owner using a hose to move one in the centre of town caused a minor storm.

Darwin’s free city Wi-fi network will also be expanded in key tourist and shopping areas. Smart parking sensors will indicate available parking, intended to reduce congestion and emissions.

Perth has also been awarded $6 million in technology grants under the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

This was originally published by Government News.

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Harnessing Tech to Create Sustainable Cities for the Future

More than ever before, technology drives our world. It powers businesses, cities and governments, and shapes individual lives in a hugely impactful way. Indeed, smart technology ensures that we have clean water, and that food is available in supermarkets.

Today, we order food, clothes, and all manner of services with just three simple taps. We do our banking on the go, paying salaries while sitting in traffic!

Harnessing Smart Technology to Create Sustainable Cities for the Future

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Technology continues to shape the very fabric of our lives, and this dependence is only likely to accelerate given that, in 2010, we passed the historic milestone of having the majority of the world’s population live in cities. With this in mind, sustainability must become a key priority for business leaders and policymakers around the world.

Leveraging data

Today, information technology has the unique capability of being able to capture the ever-increasing amounts of information generated in the world around us – whether it is sensors that monitor traffic on the roads, the passage of water through pipes or the GPS signals from mobile phones.

Every day, advanced technology is providing us with more detailed information about the services we depend on – and improvements in data communications are allowing us to combine real-time data with existing information. At the same time, recent developments in analytic algorithms mean that, more than ever before, we can gain new insights from this rich data store to help us make smarter decisions.

Developing ‘smart’ infrastructure

It’s becoming more and more evident that people want to live in cities where there’s a high quality of life and where services are delivered seamlessly and efficiently. As a result, these demands are placing a huge strain on city infrastructures and the planet’s resources at large.

We now need a “smarter” approach to delivering vital services, such as transportation, logistics, healthcare, education, public safety, energy and water delivery.

Smart technology can undoubtedly ease traffic congestion if the right measures are implemented.

Early signs of success

Encouragingly, work has already begun in cities around the world to make cities smarter and more energy efficient. For example, Singapore, Brisbane and Stockholm are all working to reduce both traffic congestion and air pollution through intelligent transportation solutions, including predictive tools to route vehicles around traffic accidents.

This was originally published by BizCommunity.

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Cyberterrorists Targeting Healthcare Systems, Critical Infrastructure

Terror attacks have traditionally targeted concentrations of bystanders. But what if they didn’t need to in order to wreak havoc on a massive scale?

Cyberterrorists Targeting Healthcare Systems, Critical Infrastructure

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Critical infrastructure networks maintained by governments around the world could be vulnerable to major cyberattacks at any moment.

But what do we really know about cyber terrorism?

Luke Dembosky, former deputy assistant attorney-general for national security at the US Department of Justice, tracks developments in cyber terror.

He said the question had shifted from how to prevent major attacks point black, to how best to minimise their enormous damage.

What is cyberterrorism?

The FBI in the United States defines cyberterrorism as a “premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs and data which results in violence againstnon-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents”.

Critically, cyberterrorist attacks are not the same as hacking or compromising consumer data, as what happened in the recent Equifax data breach.

They instead aim to cause global panic or mass loss of life by hacking into critical infrastructure like power networks, trading platforms and healthcare systems.

As we saw with the WannaCry ransomware attack earlier this year, many hospital systems were vulnerable to widespread disruption.

“This is not the same as the loss of your credit card data in a breach even as large as the Target breach that we had a few years ago in the US,” Mr Dembosky said.

“This is about life and death, and when it comes to providing medical care or not, or being able to access patient records, keeping the power grid on, the trading platform going, it becomes a much larger risk area.”

Is a cyberterrorist attack inevitable?

Major economies and governments around the world are currently in a race to “lock down” critical infrastructure from destructive cyber attacks.

Nations are faced with the near unavoidability of such attacks, and instead trying to find ways to minimise their spread or “cascading effect”across an entire sector of the economy.

This was originally published by ABC.net.au.

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