Toward the realization of a resilience city

Wellington City, New Zealand
Strategic Projects Adviser & Emergency Welfare OfficerJulia Hamilton
NEC New ZealandTim Packer

How can technology help cities become more livable and sustainable? Julia Hamilton, Wellington City Council community networks safety advisor and Tim Packer NEC New Zealand talk about the realization of a resilient city.

Ms. Julia Hamilton
Julia HamiltonJulia Hamilton
Wellington City, New Zealand Strategic Projects Adviser & Emergency Welfare Officer
She is part of the Community Services Team, Wellington City Council and is focused on improving community wellbeing. She is a specialist in CPTED (Crime Prevention though Environmental Design) and leads a number of strategic and collaborative projects across the city in which integration of data and informed decisions are essential to improved community outcomes.
Mr. Tim Packer
Tim PackerTim Packer
NEC New Zealand
NEC head of smart city solutions. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Tim and his team are working with cities, as partners and co-designers, to develop solutions that advance City livability and sustainability. By providing a more holistic view across the social, economic and ecological environments Tim's team help cities make more informed decisions.

Toward the realization of a resilience city

Could you tell us about the Wellington Resilience Strategy in March 2017?

Our strategy is a blueprint to enable Wellingtonians to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from disruptions. We used a co-design process to create the strategy and worked with hundreds of Wellingtonians from different walks of life. The strategy has three important goals - that people are connected, empowered and feel part of a community; that decision making is integrated and well informed; and that our homes, natural and built environment, are healthy and robust.

NEC New Zealand have partnered with Wellington City Council (WCC) to explore how technology can help the city become more livable and sustainable as part of a long-term strategy for New Zealand’s capital city.

Why did WCC partner with NEC?

Wellington is one of the world’s most livable cities, we want to protect and enhance that. NEC’s smart technology helps ensure we have the kind of social infrastructure that makes Wellington a place where people want to live and do business.

We form long-term relationships with cities so we can react to the latest challenges that they face, learn from them, and work with them to create a sustainable and smart city for the future. Working with an open process, we place collaboration and co-design at the centre of our partnerships.

How do you make Wellington smarter and safer by using IT?

Action No.14 of our Resilience Strategy is about well-informed decision making, the Council sharing decision making with the community in a meaningful way. We’re developing an online information hub to connect citizens with available information about all aspects of living in Wellington. We’ll bring together a wide range of data on Wellington and make it available so that citizens, researchers, investors and visitors can use it to make their own decisions and plans.

In the first instance, this will involve developing an intelligence system to support post-earthquake building inspections–drawing on emerging sensor technology to better inform decision making. The hub will also include information around hazards such as sea level rise, liquefaction, tsunami, and ground shaking, as well as opportunities like volunteering, social support, funding, and shared community resources.

Our role for Wellington is to help bring data together on the built environment, social and ecological environments into context around time and location. Where we discover data gaps we can fill them with sensor technology which is delivered via NEC’s KITE platform.

Action No.15 of our strategy is “Develop a virtual reality model of the central city built environment” We’ll do that using 3D, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) techniques to better communicate information about Wellington and its vulnerabilities. Technology plays an increasingly important role in how we communicate and engage with information. We have an opportunity to draw on our gaming and tech sectors to improve awareness of Wellington’s hazards by developing a 3D/VR model of the central city and simulations of how it could be affected by events such as earthquakes and sea level rise. It could be used by emergency management agencies and first responders, as well as the general public.

We help citizens, cities, and central government to make more informed decisions. These new modeling and visualization technologies help us to tell the right stories with the data for better understanding.

What are the results of the collaborative work with NEC?

They provided technology in a smart way for us to develop smart solutions. NEC’s technologies, planning, and support mean we can to deliver on our promises. It’s also valuable for ensuring that we’re looking at evidence-based solutions.

How do you think of the partnership with NEC should be in the future?

It’s been a real pleasure working with NEC. They bring world class technology, but also a genuine desire to listen and think creatively. Our partnership with NEC is invaluable in making Wellington City more resilient.

WCC and NEC have developed a true partner relationship that we believe is advancing the emergence of smart city technology around the world. Utilizing co-design and leveraging the best talents from each organization, we’re solving real problems and building world class solutions that no doubt other cities will benefit from in the future. Wellington is a fantastic place to innovate and with the solid base established here, we anticipate many more innovations to come right.

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