Monday, November 02, 2009

Prime Minister Needs to Consider the Internet in City Planning

The latest edition of "On Line Opinion: Australia's free Internet journal of social and political opinion" has an article on "Cities in planning spotlight". I was surprised to find the author is "Kevin Rudd", the Prime Minister:
"Around the world, nations are grappling with the challenge of planning for the cities of the future. The forces of the global economy are driving rapid urban growth and requiring governments to rethink their approach to the planning and development of cities. ..."
You can comment on the article, or read those of others. In my comments, I agree with most of the PM's article, but have suggested that the Internet needs to be incorporated in city planning. Projects such as the NBN will change the shape of cities. The Internet can be used to improve public transport and combat climate change, but this needs to be incorporated into city planning to have the maximum benefit.

Examples of the Internet effecting cities are the use of WiFi on public transport increasing the acceptable journey time for commuters and the use of web booking for car share services. These are examples of changes which can be made to transport system much quicker and cheaper than building a metro or a hybrid car factory.

In "Cities in planning spotlight" (2/11/2009) Mr. Rudd argues a larger role for central government in city planning. The government has already played a useful role is in transport planning, but needs to incorporate the Internet in planning. The NBN can be used to improve city transport and help combat climate change.

The federal government funding Melbourne rail improvements and rejecting the Sydney Metro, has sent a clear signal that transport needs to be planned. The NSW government has since made some progress with a study of light rail:

Recent research predicts a larger rise in sea level than previously thought. None of the proposals currently being prepared for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (CoP15) will be sufficient:

The Internet is available and rapidly expanding, so it can be deployed to combat climate change faster than other technologies, such as Metros or solar power. Friday's "Govhack" shows how government and community can work innovatively online:

Data from the $100M Smart Grid Project could be made available for energy saving projects:

Web carshare projects could be funded:

Free WiFi for public passengers and a national smart ticket could be introduced.

Other proposals I put to the APEC Climate Change Symposium in Canberra last week:

1. GREEN COURSE: Broaden the content and add multimedia, mobile phone and village classroom options to the ANU/ACS Green Technologies course to make it available in APEC countries at the local level:

2. INNOVATION COMPETITION: Expand the InnovationACT project to the APEC region. In a one year trial Australian and Korea will have teams of students working online on climate change innovations. Prizes will be awarded for the best project:

3. GREEN CERTIFICATION: Expand the COA Green ICT certification scheme to APEC, providing web tools to ICT green certify organisations:

4. PROTECT CULTURAL RECORDS: Many cultural institutions are located near the sea and will be at threat from inundation due to climate change. Training and resources for government and non-government cultural institutions to catalogue and digitally preserve their materials can be provided. Background:

Posted by tomw, Monday, 2 November 2009 10:35:13 AM
ps: I am on the On Line Opinion Editorial Advisory Board, along with Mrs. Turnbull, amongst others.

No comments: