Project Description

The Northern Melbourne Smart Cities Network, enabling data to drive change project was a $1.4M federally matched project, and the largest of it’s kind in Australia. The project aimed to provide an IoT-based Smart Cities network to drive the first steps towards smart cities transformation. The network covers over 4000 sq. Km. of area and 5 municipalities being the City of Whittlesea, Moreland City Council, Banyule City Council, Mitchell Shire Council and Nillumbik Shire Council. 2 Universities were also involved in the project, providing technical expertise and guidance.

The project began in November 2018 and was completed on time and on budget 30 June 2020 admist the COVID19 outbreak.

The project has developed and implemented a LoRaWAN network that enables integration of 5 different types of sensors to collect data on a wide variety of aspects of everyday life in the cities and allows Councils to monitor and improve efficiency of services provided and support potential delivery of new services.

In total 52 self contained, standalone LoRaWAN Gateways cover the region. These gateways are a solar powered and have a 4G backhaul connectivity. The front end includes a public facing TTN (The Things Network) network to provide connectivity for both the councils sensors and any community sensors in the region. In addition to the Network and 5 sensor types, Minnovation provided a data aggregation and integration platform to feed data into each Cities Azure Datalake instance. The details of this integration have been documented by Microsoft here.

The network developed as part of this project is the key driver towards the future smart cities transformation. The network will allow the five councils to explore different sensors inexpensively and play and share data to determine how access to data can best inform council process and service improvement. The shared network promotes collaboration and sharing resources, risks and opportunities.

The project has provided 5 participating Councils a LoRaWAN IoT-based Smart Cities network which consists of 48 52 gateways and 294 330 sensors in 5 types and is the largest open IoT network in Victoria.

The project has engaged the business end users from all Councils throughout the project and the data visualisation dashboards developed according to the business requirements will allow Councils to monitor and improve efficiency of services with data analytics and support potential delivery of new services. It has also enabled access to air quality and water level dashboards from the community.

The IoT network is integrated with the open access network The Things Network which allows the local residents and businesses to integrate their own sensors to the network and enables the community to drive their own data-based solutions to everyday problems. The project has provided How-to information in the webinar videos published on YouTube.

The project has won several Industry Recognitions including:

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