Data to drive smarter decision making

Sunshine Coast Council

Real time data on people movement, water use and ambient temperatures is now being captured in Woombye to help Sunshine Coast Council improve its delivery of services and facilities into the future.

Division 5 Councillor Winston Johnston said 10 sensors had been installed on poles along Blackall Street for the Data Driven Decision Making (DDDM) pilot project which is part of council’s Smart City Framework.

“Capturing real-time data is becoming increasingly important to council because it provides definitive information which shows us how we can improve the way we plan for the future and deliver more efficient services and infrastructure for the Sunshine Coast community,” Cr Johnston said.

“This pilot project in Woombye is now capturing real time information about pedestrian and vehicle movement in the area. It is capturing data on how long they’re in this area and their direction of movement.

“Twenty car parking bay sensors have also been installed to capture data about how many vehicles use parking bays, how long they stay, and the peak times.

“The data that these sensors capture will provide council with information that enables us to make informed decisions on future projects.

“A networked water meter is also providing council with data on things like how many people are using public amenities in Woombye, how much water is being used and if there are water leaks.

“This data informs council about the scheduling of maintenance and cleaning schedules, as well as identifying potential misuse of facilities and helps council run these facilities in more environmentally sustainable way.

“A weather station and ambient temperature sensors have been installed as part of the pilot program, to provide real-time information which can assist council’s Disaster Management team in the short term and assist with climate change policy over the longer term.

“The ambient temperature sensor is one of four which, along with the movement and counting sensors, will provide a complete picture of the day to day and longer term trends within the township of Woombye and support data driven design for council’s placemaking team.

“A thermal image camera is also providing council with data on temperature comparisons between asphalt, concrete, grass, canopy or shaded locations. This information will be used to improve planning and design of public areas, using materials and colours which provide cooler, more comfortable open spaces for our community,” Cr Johnston said.

Vice President of the Woombye Community & Business Association (WCBA) Grant Palethorpe said the use of smart technologies had the potential to help residents and visitors better connect with local communities.

“This pilot project is exciting as the data collected about how people move and utilise public spaces can accurately inform council’s decision making into the future to improve our public spaces,” Mr Palethorpe said.

“One of the primary concerns for business owners in Woombye is having ample car parking spaces available for customers. So local business owners are particularly interested in the data which is gathered from car park sensors and from that, what measures or solutions can be put in place to ensure car parking is less of a problem into the future.

“The data collection on ambient vs pavement temperatures in this project will be compelling. If we want great public spaces, they need to be comfortable to be in. Improving walkability will also help to reduce reliance on cars and the issues that Woombye has with car parking.”

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