City Futures Research Centre Arts, Design and Architecture

Western Parkland City Sensor Network Project

The Western Parkland City Sensor Network Project deployed a shared, scalable sensing network across the eight local government partners in the Western Sydney City Deal., City Deal partners Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Penrith, and Wollondilly are collectively known as the Western Parkland City. The network will connect to the internet of things (IoT), enabling data sharing to enhance place-based planning and communication with citizens of the Western Parkland City. It will use public domain and environmental sensors to establish the network spine, enhancing development of tools for data sharing and data analytics, and digital governance protocols.

These eight councils will share network and data resources and in a regional first, share network and data resources with Sydney Water who have been deploying a separate sensor network.

The extended network coverage combining all eight councils and Sydney Water will enable this project to monitor and manage resources far more effectively. A unique characteristic of this initiative is the unilateral collaboration specifically to drive smart city initiatives and enable innovation in the Western Sydney region.

Project Scope

Wollondilly Shire Council has the lead responsibility for the Sensor Network project as part of the Smart cities and Suburbs Program Round 2 (SCS69220).

The eight City Deal Councils and grant partners (Sydney Water, UNSW, UoW and the Wollondilly Health Alliance) to work together to deliver:

  • A shared and scalable IoT gateway network with geographic gaps identified
  • A shared and scalable data portal that stores and shares sensor datasets with grant participates and our communities
  • A shared data analytics report summarising sensor data feeds
  • A data sharing policy, data sharing playbook and data sharing risk analysis
  • Sensors for environmental sensing
  • Sensors for people sensing
  • Smart sports ground management system
  • Develop a proof-of-concept for digital communication with citizens and visitors in the environmental sensing and public domain sensing stream
  • Final project report and plan for transition to business as usual, to scale across the Western Parkland City or other domains
  • Communicate project updates to community and share lessons with other local governments
  • Develop a Project Governance framework

Benefit and Outcomes:

The key benefits of this project are the development of smart governance across the eight Councils in the Western Parkland City and the deployment of a sensor network that will enable Councils to deliver better outcomes to their citizens, as well as engage with other stakeholders in new and innovative ways.


This project supports establishes a pathway for smart governance that will support implementation of the Western Sydney City Deal. This unique partnership in Sydney gives a basis for a shared set of data sharing protocols, both principle and technical-based, that will facilitate co-ordination across three tiers of government. Partnership with Sydney Water and support from the Office of Environment and Heritage ensures consistent development of the project with NSW standards. This partnership allows for development of interoperable systems between state and local government and supports scalability of use cases leveraging Sydney Water networks.

A key outcome of this project will be the classification of data in a way that facilitates the creation of open data assets and sharing that data with citizens and NSW and Australian Government open data platforms.

With four key use cases across environment and public domain sensing, the project provides deployment of different sensor technology across diverse sites (from CBD areas to tourist sites in the Blue Mountains National Park). The project positions the Western Parkland City with a network enabling agile adaptation to the significant changes that the area is facing. This positions the Western Parkland City as a better place to live, invest and do business, not only because of each council’s ability to share the network with local stakeholders, but also as a way of leveraging the significant investment opportunities arising from the development of the new Western Sydney Airport and Aerotropolis.

Establishing a network that allows the Western Parkland City to connect to the Internet of Things is an important benefit of this project. It positions the region to meet the needs of its fast-growing and diverse population in an efficient and effective way.

Social, environmental and economic benefits

Deployment of a shared sensor and data sharing network across the Western Parkland City provides Councils with the tools to deliver a range of social and environmental benefits. These arise from using smart technology to understand changes in places and enabling collection of data to drive appropriate responses.

Each of the use cases delivers a range of benefits as detailed below:

  • Air quality including heat: enable monitoring of change over time to see the impact of policy interventions and changing infrastructure, as well as communicate alerts to citizens of high risk days, and understand the interactions of heat with other data assets such as morbidity rates, or public transport use.
  • Water quality: Monitoring and assessment of the South Creek catchment to prioritise actions for the catchment’s maintenance and improvement. Cleaner, healthier waterways deliver social benefits including a more liveable landscape, high visual amenity and a reduction in urban heat island effects. They can also provide economic benefits in terms of improved market value of properties and enhanced tourism value.
  • People and vehicle movement: improved data allows better planning decisions to reduce congestion, allowing for more accessible and connected places. In town centres and visitor precincts, this has economic benefits for business owners, and in public areas such as parks and walking tracks it can help mitigate overuse and damage to natural resources. Reducing congestion also has social benefits for residents.
  • Smart sports fields: sustainable management of water resources and electricity via better use of lighting and irrigation. Social benefits flow from better maintenance of public sports grounds, providing space for activities that keep people moving.

In addition, the gateways that underpin the sensor network provide an asset that local businesses can leverage, making the area more attractive for investment.

Community focus and impact on liveability

This project addresses priorities identified by each council’s citizens in preparing local community strategic plans. Community engagement processes were key the founding platform for each of these plans.

This project will leverage sensor data for communication and engagement with citizens using the most appropriate tools. These tools will be developed throughout the course of the project, responding to data insights arising from analysis of data, as well as citizen needs. High heat day alerts, for example, could see use of ‘phone alerts, electronic billboards or smart bus shelters.

Key liveability aspects addressed by this project are:

  • The impact of heat in an area with significant heat islands and markedly higher temperatures compared to coastal areas of Sydney
  • Congestion, and monitoring of traffic and pedestrian density in key locations allowing for planning to ease access and protect assets (natural and built)
  • Improved environment of South Creek allowing for more outdoor activity
  • Improved sports field management to enable better amenities for people to use

Leading organisation

Western Parkland Councils

Collaborating partners

Blue Mountains City Council
Camden Council
Campbelltown City Council
Fairfield City Council
Hawkesbury City Council
Liverpool City Council
Penrith City Council
Sydney Water
University of Wollongong
Wollondilly Shire Council

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