Supercharging Liverpool City Council to better serve our citizens
Liverpool is a proudly diverse community. With people from 150 cultures, speaking more than 140 languages, we have a strong history in community harmony and celebration of diversity. We believe we are one of Australia’s most exciting and vibrant cities.
Liverpool’s city centre is 40 kilometres from the Sydney CBD and is home to three universities, a vocational education institute, the largest standalone hospital in Australia, the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research and a growing, aspirational population. We are the premier edge city for the new Western Sydney International Airport and are central to major road and rail links.
We are working with our community to develop a masterplan for our city centre. Our city was planned in the early 19th Century and has great bones that remain relevant today. The street grid can be enhanced and revitalised by pedestrian and cycling routes, street trees and spaces for community activities.
Our goal is to position Liverpool as a local, national and global innovation leader.
A goal backed by action
We realise it’s a big goal. But being bold enough to put a big goal out there is what consolidates action. During 2018 we worked with our community and staff to develop a city innovation strategy, which was adopted by Liverpool City Council (LCC) in February 2019. This strategy brings together the innovative programs already underway and documents a plan for Liverpool to move forward. The innovation strategy creates a roadmap to “make innovation happen” and will allow for the support of innovators who are seeking to find new ways of meeting the needs of the people of Liverpool.
Collaboration is key
Collaboration is a fundamental ingredient to innovation success. We can’t innovate by ourselves. Internally we work across organisational silos on projects. We work closely with our city’s key institutions, and large and small businesses. We partner with our colleagues at other councils and all levels of government. We’re also proud to be a founding member of City Possible, a global partnership and co-creation framework pioneered by Mastercard, which harnesses the collective power of the public sector to co-create, pilot, and scale solutions to address the world’s most pressing urban issues.
The flexibility to be better
We’re flexible because sometimes things don’t go according to plan. We recently completed a smart city project, working with University of Wollongong and an industry partner to understand the volume of pedestrians and traffic around the city centre. We had initially planned to use a specific technology to collect the data, however, when it came time to invest, the advice had changed. Instead of scanners to pick up smart-device numbers we looked at cameras that could identify the numbers of individuals and vehicles.
That’s when we had a light-bulb moment. We already have cameras in the CBD – through CCTV.
Innovation in action
That was one of the pivotal points on the project. It’s not just Liverpool that has CCTV in its CBD. Due to various government funding programs over the past 10 years, just about every city in Australia has CCTV. If we could use those cameras to understand pedestrian and vehicle movement, so could everyone. And we were able to retrofit and recycle old technology for a new purpose.
We also know that transportation plays a key role in our city’s development. This goes beyond providing more transit options, it’s about focusing on what people need and how technology can be used to positively impact their lives. With Liverpool being situated just 20km from the site of the new Western Sydney Airport, there was agreement with the state government that a rapid bus lane would be created between Liverpool and the airport. But Liverpool wanted more. We are now working with Curtin University and state agencies to deliver a rapid transit service – that is cost effective and activates transport oriented development points along the route.
Liverpool is a city that is willing to test new ideas and explore new possibilities and we look forward to seeing what the future holds on our journey to being a more connected and inclusive city.