Smart Precincts



The concept of smart cities are becoming increasingly prevalent in New South Wales and the world as new technologies create new opportunity to achieve new efficiencies, better data and improved experiences in our physical worlds.

As part of the 2025 strategy, the World Class Environment team and Faculty of Engineering co-sponsored a discussion that brought together Government, Researchers, Academics and other interested parties to explore how more could be achieved together.  

The intent was to transform the experience of the physical campus for what is currently ‘inert’ and ‘passive’ to one that is ‘active’, ‘engaged’ and ‘integrated’. The concept of a ‘Smart Campus’ was identified as foundational for achieving this. The Smart Campus program aimed to ‘digitise’ the physical environment through the use of sensors, beacons, meters, networks and other technologies to deliver:

·    Increased efficiency in the use, operations and management of the physical environment.
·    Personalised and contextualised experiences to students, staff and visitors to the campus;
·    A physical environment that is flexible and adaptable to change.

More than 120 stakeholders that included cabinet representatives, researchers and industry organisations for a co-designed day of exploration organised by TwoCollaborate with the aim to bring together experts (internal and external organisations) working on related projects, and identify those interested in participating in a group submission government to ensure the program application was as strong as possible and with a thoroughly understood context of the smart cities and suburbs program.


The challenge in this context is to help a wide range of stakeholders to connect and find common ground, outside of a shared organisational structure. There was only a brief window to identify interested parties, and create a joint applications. So we focused on enabling participants to self organise into to relevant and meaningful cohorts but rapidly exploring areas of mutual interested and benefit. The carefully scripted day took the individuals through a process of generating new ideas, building connection, and finally wrapping next steps into a coherent strategy.

At first, people tend to stick to their ideas. However, when you make them understand that, like with everything, the chances to win as part of a collective is infinitely times bigger than any individual would, possibilities open up.

Activate a living lab by working closely with local stakeholders in the precinct:

  • Share research capability more broadly

  • Prototype, test and showcase Smart City capability

  • Create the environment for new cross-faculty connections

  • Develop new cross-stakeholder initiative submissions

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"Thank you so much – to you and the team for your incredible effort. I think this was an event, not one of us will ever forget! We had a lot of fun and I really appreciate the skill and strength, positivity and flexibility of the team. Many kind words have been exchanged and this is heart-warming. I smile and clap proudly."

Danielle Neale
Entrepreneur in Residence

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