Challenges and opportunities to develop a smart city: A case study of Gold Coast, Australia

Bhishna Bajracharya, David Cattell, Isara Khanjanasthiti

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With the rapid growth of information and communication technologies, there is a growing interest in developing smart cities with a focus on the knowledge economy, use of sensors and mobile technologies to plan and manage cities. The proponents argue that these emerging technologies have potential application in efficiently managing the environment and infrastructure, promoting economic development and actively engaging the public, thus contributing to building safe, healthy, sustainable and resilient cities. However, are there other important elements in addition to technologies which can contribute to the creation of smart cities? What are some of the challenges and opportunities for developing a smart city? This paper aims to answer these questions by developing a conceptual framework for smart cities. The framework is then applied to the city of Gold Coast to identify challenges and opportunities for developing the city into a ‘smart city’. Gold Coast is a popular tourist city of about 600,000 populations in South East Queensland, Australia, at the southern end of the 240km long coastal conurbation that is centred by Brisbane. Recently, IBM has nominated Gold Coast as one of the three cities in Australia for its Smarter Cities Challenge Grant. The grant will provide the Gold Coast City Council with the opportunity to collaborate with a group of experts from IBM to develop strategies for enhancing its ICT arrangements for disaster response capabilities. Gold Coast, meanwhile, has potential to diversify its economy from being centred on tourism to a knowledge economy with focus on its educational institutions, investments in cultural precincts and high quality lifestyle amenities. These provide a unique opportunity for building Gold Coast as an important smart city in the region. As part of the research methodology, the paper will review relevant policies of the council. Finally, lessons will be drawn from the case study for other cities which seek to establish themselves as smart cities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Real CORP 2014
Subtitle of host publicationPlan it smart, Clever solutions for smart cities
EditorsManfred Schrenk, Vasily Popovich, Peter Zeile, Pietro Elisei
Place of Publicationonline
PublisherREAL CORP
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9783950311075
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventInternational Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society - Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 21 May 201423 May 2014
Conference number: 19th


ConferenceInternational Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society
Abbreviated titleREAL CORP 2014


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