Digital transparency in the public realm



By Adam Beck | Program Lead, Future of Place


The Smart Cities Council recently brought together government stakeholders and Smart Cities Council members to discuss current issues around the use of technology and the collection of data in the public realm. From deployment of CCTV and IoT devices, to the practice of growing data capture capabilities and storage, we acknowledge we are reaching an unprecedented level of investment, interest and uncertainty in how we design, deploy and manage digital transformation in the public realm.


This online discovery session around digital transparency in the public realm for government and industry across Australia and New Zealand was an intensive 2-hour discussion involving a diversity of question sets structured through an online interactive portal. The dialogue generated a range of outcomes as a result of our prompting questions, which included:

  • What technologies/systems are you deploying?

  • What standards/guidance are you using?

  • What’s your level of confidence in deployment?

  • What project support are you getting?

  • What are your privacy strategies?

  • What’s your biggest concern?

  • What’s your biggest barrier to success?


The group of more than 30 stakeholders identified common interests and challenges, and some potential pathways forward in developing and accessing guidance and support.


Here is what resulted:


Transparency and privacy were two key items discussed at length - particularly the differences between the two, and how each are governed by law, or not.


The key is now how these issues are embraced by city shapers into our investments in making public spaces and places vibrant and prosperous.

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