Bike SA CEO, Christian Haag, looks at how Adelaide’s efforts to be a “Smart City” should reap rewards. 

The City of Adelaide is moving forward with its Smart Cities agenda through a series of workshops to prioritise projects that will drive investment and growth for the benefit of businesses, entrepreneurs and all South Australians.

Bike SA is already an eager participant in this work.

Of course the exact definition of a Smart City is yet to be clearly identified and is an issue that many cities around the world are grappling with.

The ever increasing introduction of disruptive technologies, driven by the explosion of new tech entrepreneurs continues to shake established consumer markets, very often with significant societal impact.

For governments and policy makers, the challenge of how to regulate this ‘developer-to-consumer’ peer2peer relationship is a tough one, made all the more difficult by the speed with which new (and often) mobile applications are released into the market.

How best to regulate…

The culture of this commercial and social creative entrepreneurship is terrific but governments must find the right balance for a regulatory environment that ensures both some form of manageable and accountable protocol while at the same time supporting a free and open market that encourages and rewards innovation.

Compare Uber’s aggressive and robust approach to business with Airbnb’s more ‘community-benefit’ oriented culture. Both industries deliver peer2peer transactions that effectively by-pass government’s long established regulatory frameworks.

Result for government? Headache and opportunity.

There is no doubt that the current explosion of these new-tech products and services combined with the potential of the ‘Internet of Things’ has the capacity to transform how we move and live.

With our cities awash with physical objects, mobile and fixed devices and an array of sensors, the intention/hope is for the ‘IoT’ to simply suck and analyse mountains of data, in turn creating a smart system that will greatly enhance our quality of life.

The International Transport Forum (OECD) encourages cities to take a cautious and informed approach to this new-tech era.

Their message is a simple one. Disruptive technologies have equal capacity to either positively transform or decimate the fabric of our cities.

For this reason alone, the Adelaide City Council and state government’s work to develop a Smart City roadmap is to be applauded and engaged with.

Bike SA’s interest is our belief that the ‘internet of bicycles’ will drive demand for a whole new set of transformative active mobility services and we will continue to advocate to ensure bicycles remain an important part of the Smart City mix.

Bicycle SA works closely with local government to ensure that cycling remains at the forefront of transport agendas. Become a Bike SA member today.