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Sydney lagging the smart city pack

The Sydney think tank, the Committee for Sydney argues Sydney is trailing the international pack in becoming a smart city. A new report by the Committee outlines five key steps for Sydney to fast track its smart city position and other Australian cities could also benefit by implementing some of the reports ideas. Read Article

Aura’s first school is full of technology and open to the public

The new Baringa State School at Aura is the first on the Sunshine Coast to have a STEM focus (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths). The school features a robotics lab, 3D printers, interactive televisions in each classroom, a sound and recording studio and innovation hubs. A community partnership arrangements means the school facilities including the auditorium and sports fields are available to the wider community after hours. Read Article

San Francisco provides lessons for Brisbane

Australian firm Hassell is leading a consortium short listed for the Resilient By Design competition for the San Francisco Bay Area Challenge. The scheme aims to protect San Francisco from the impacts of climate change and natural disasters. Winning designs will be showcased at the Global Climate Action Summit to be held in San Francisco in September this year. Given South East Queensland’s low lying topography and the State’s recent history of natural disasters, there will be valuable insights for Brisbane and Queensland from this competition. Read Article

Amazon opens office of the future

After seven years of planning and construction, Amazon’s new Sphere office is open as part of its Seattle campus. The three interconnected spheres contain 40,000 plants from 30 different countries and are designed to stimulate workers through their natural environment. Workers can also be monitored via their ID badges to determine how they use the space. The Cost Benefit equation will be interesting on this new innovation from Amazon but it has certainly taken a quantum leap in workplace amenity from the previous best in class. Read Article

The three best ways to fund future infrastructure

A study by AECOM of 500 infrastructure decision makers from around the world has identified three main infrastructure funding approaches to watch develop around the world – Innovative PPPs that incentivise private sector innovation; Value Capture as has been used in the UK’s Crossrail project; and Environmental Impact Bonds which are linked to successful social or environmental outcomes. Read Article

The most innovative companies in 2018

Boston Consulting Group’s survey of the most innovative companies in the world has identified a widening gap in the digital innovation divide. Successful innovators are placing increasing emphasis on Big Data analytics; the fast adoption of new technologies; mobile products and capabilities; and digital design. Read Article

Americans are spending more time at home and saving energy

A recent study using US Labour statistics has identified that Americans spent an average 8 days more at home in 2012 than in 2003. This is a reasonably significant shift but does not appear to be reflective of a substantial move towards working from home (estimated to be around 3.5% fewer days at the work place per person). It is however having major energy consumption benefits by reducing energy used in travelling and in operating offices. Read Article