Any community can work on becoming smarter now, says Dr Lutz Heuser, Chief Technology Officer at the Urban Software Institute and keynote speaker at the Australian Smart Communities Summit in March 2016.

“The digital transformation of our society should not stop when it comes to community and management infrastructure. Governments and businesses must start thinking now about moving into digital relationships to grow economic prosperity in their communities,” he said.

Dr Heuser’s message is not about investing more money, but investing smarter.

“People already engage in digital transactions. They use their smart gadgets throughout the day to shop online, check the weather or traffic conditions and read emails. Online shopping is especially popular, particularly in Europe. People can now search online for a product using a keyword or phrase and find someone who delivers that product directly to them,” he said.

“On the other hand, a local business with a badly maintained website cannot compete with large online services such as Amazon. If I’m a council representative, I’d worry about local businesses going out of business because they’re not part of the digital equation.”

What communities must start thinking about

  • Moving from an analogue to a digital relationship to grow prosperity
  • Connecting the virtual to the physical world through attractive smart services

“Whether people are physically shopping at the local plaza, or attending a medical centre, they want to find the best way to get there, where the traffic jams are and what parking is available,” he said.

Dr Heuser is among several international and national speakers who will share their knowledge at the Summit on 2-4 March 2016 in Caloundra, Queensland. It will provide the first all-inclusive opportunity in Australia to join with other national and international leaders who are at the forefront of what it takes to become a smart community.

Dr Heuser’s work focuses on energy management and transport using sensor-based infrastructure. As the keynote international speaker at the Australian Smart Communities Summit he will demonstrate the UrbanPulse platform, a cloud-based solution which provides real-time data to residents.