Newcastle is a city experiencing rapid social and economic change. Located on the Port of Newcastle it provides the Regional Centre for the Hunter with higher order administration, education, cultural and recreation facilities. Newcastle City Council is responsible for focussing community, business and government energies to maximise the City’s job and investment potential.
Newcastle to become the Smartest City
The vision for Newcastle is to be a smart, liveable and sustainable city.
Newcastle is undergoing long-term transition from a primarily industrial base to diversified economic foundations. It is currently the focus of a NSW Government revitalisation agenda and is experiencing major urban renewal including light rail, growth in city residential population, and the development of a University City campus. Within this framework of revitalisation, renewal, and renewed investment, the smart city initiative has come into focus as a key contributor to the future vision of Newcastle.
A key strand of the urban revitalisation narrative is that the city is an attractive place to live, work, invest and visit. The smart city will provide opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses to thrive in the digital century, underpin diversification of the local economy, and drive inward investment and outward commercialisation of local and regional innovation.
With a recent nearly $18 million investment in ‘Smart City’ infrastructure, Newcastle is experiencing unprecedented growth.
Backed by the New South Wales State Government, and core partners Newcastle City Council, University of Newcastle (UoN), Newcastle NOW, and Hunter DiGiT, The Hunter Innovation Project (HIP) will see Newcastle enjoy smart and digitally connected public and urban infrastructure, which will work towards developing a thriving ecosystem to drive innovation and creativity.
It will also provide opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses to thrive in the digital century, underpin diversification of the local economy, and drive inward investment and outward commercialisation of local and regional innovation.
HIP has attracted a wide range of committed city and regional partners from sectors, including educational institutions, industry groups, business, government departments, research organisations, peak associations and community groups. Proposed outcomes will include:
- City Centre WiFi,
- An Internet of Things network (also in the city centre),
- Smart Infrastructure, including smart parking and lighting,
- A Digital Precinct, linked by fibre to the premises’ high speed broadband,
- A UoN Innovation Hub in Newcastle CBD, and
- Defence and Security Research and Innovation Hub (to be located at Building E of the WAC).
When coupled with the region’s John Hunter Hospital, which contains the only trauma centre in New South Wales outside the Sydney Metropolitan Area, the Hunter Medical Research Institute, and Newcastle Harbour, the world’s biggest coal export port, the agenda for Newcastle’s future growth and advancements is exceptional.
Newcastle has a long history of innovation and resilience. As the capital of the Hunter, Newcastle is at the economic and cultural centre of a region boasting world class University and research institutions (such as CSIRO Energy Flagship, HMRI, NIER, HRF), extensive manufacturing industry and engineering capability, established specialisations in mining, port and associated logistics, defence and aerospace, creative industries and a rapidly growing start-up and entrepreneurial sector.