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New Zealand’s Smartest Street Scoops Up A Smart City Award

Madden Street in Auckland, also known as New Zealand’s smartest street, has been recognised for it’s technologically advanced smart city attributes – picking up an award in the smart city Sustainable Infrastructure category at the Asia Pacific Awards. Now in its fifth year, SCAPA recognises the most outstanding smart city projects in Asia/Pacific, excluding Japan (APeJ) across a total of 14 functional smart city award categories. This year 17 projects were named as the best in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) chosen from a total of 58 finalists across APeJ.

The project, which was a collaboration between Spark NZ, Auckland Transport, NB SmartCities, Cisco and Panuku Development Auckland, utilises IoT technology to demonstrate how 5G will impact the way citizens interact with technology on a daily basis through the installation of sensors in rubbish bins, car park spaces, street lights, pavements, and air monitors. The devices, which are installed along a 300-metre stretch, collect and analyse data across the street – enabling real-time data sharing and insight into street activity. From a practical perspective, this means notifying officials when bins need emptying, monitoring and controlling lighting output and analysing air quality on the street – enabling services to run in an efficient and ‘smart’ manner.

The existing street lights on Madden Street were replaced with NB SmartCities state of the art smart LED lights which are installed with a smart city module which is built directly into the unit, thus avoiding cluttered network infrastructure and resulting in ‘smart installations’ that neatly accompany the LED. CCTV, Public WiFi, and Air Quality Sensors can all be deployed through the smart light, enabling councils and providers to streamline city services and create a more sustainable urban environment.

The award win highlights the benefits derived from just a single street of smart infrastructure, demonstrating the huge potential of rolling out smart city elements on a larger scale. While this may sound daunting and expensive, with NZTA funding currently available for LED conversion, smart city modules can become a natural part of city upgrades.

Council’s have the potential to save costs through rolling out more efficient lighting, reducing Co2 emissions, reducing the need for manual human interventions, and gathering the data to enable high value decision making to manage assets more efficiently. With New Zealand now on the map after collecting three smart city award wins at the Asia Pacific Awards, the feasibility of implementing smart city initiatives is no longer in question.

Adam O’Connor, NZ Manager at NB SmartCities, said: “the sustainable infrastructure award win highlights just what is possible when you leverage LED infrastructure to deploy ‘Smart City Elements’ such as CCTV, WiFI, and IoT Sensors. Our LED and Smart City Module technology is proven, and we are deploying at scale in New Zealand and internationally. However, to unlock the true value and potential of street light infrastructure, councils are required to change their mindset and look to their most important assets – ‘street lights’ – as the base line infrastructure to deploy smart street technology.”

“We are now expanding our footprint and promoting small cell inclusion within our smart city modules that are neatly housed within the street lights. Updating our clients’ existing assets has proven to be the most efficient methodology for smart city rollouts. A good example of that is our recent small cell inclusion with our GYRO lights in Copenhagen – with this falling naturally into an existing network of 800 cells. This is a design that has been coined by collaboration between our telco and light engineers to ensure light upgrades are optimized to their full potential”


“Smart city sensors, energy efficient LEDs, programmable drivers, and air quality sensors not only represent an opportunity to save energy and costs for councils, but they can legitimately improve quality of life for city dwellers. As we move into an age of energy consciousness, preserving our assets and creating more sustainable cities is crucial to our future and smart city infrastructure is the way in which we will achieve these goals” says Adam.

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