ChillOUT in the NSW Smart Places Customer Charter

Photo: ChillOUT Hub in Kogarah, by NSW DPIE.

The Smart Places Customer Charter, launched by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment in November, invites place designers and custodians to commit to six principles guiding the creation and upkeep of smart city projects.

Organisations involved with designing, creating or managing public spaces can sign up to the Charter to demonstrate a commitment to prioritising people, country, sustainability and resilience when creating and maintaining smart places.

The six principles have been shaped by direct community input and suggest that “smart places should be built for people and designed with people,” and aim “to harness the potential of new technologies to meet the needs of citizens.”

The Charter’s principles are:

  1. Co-creating smart places: giving custodians and customers a genuine voice throughout the smart places’ life cycle.
  2. Respecting local character: smart places should preserve and enhance local character, a “combination of land, people, built environment, history, culture and tradition, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.”
  3. Advancing digital inclusivity: smart places must be digitally inclusive and aim to improve access to digital services, which is increasingly essential in Australia.
  4. Keeping information safe: smart places must collect and manage digital information responsibly and appropriately, which will in turn increase the trustworthiness of smart places.
  5. Creating an open and fair environment: encourages open and safe sharing of information and data in order to create a culture of innovation and mutual benefit without compromising privacy or security.
  6. Delivering benefits that last: smart technology must be managed with a long term view to continually evolve and integrate with emerging technology.

ChillOUT Hubs are featured in photographs throughout the Charter. The ChillOUT Hub project began in 2018 as a collaboration between Georges River Council, UNSW, the University of Sydney and Street Furniture Australia, as part of a pilot study for the Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

Three smart, open-air community hub prototypes with shelter, furniture, greenery, public WIFI and power for devices were installed in 2020 at three sites in the Georges River Council area — a busy streetscape in Kogarah, town centre in Mortdale, and suburban park in Hurstville.

Community surveys by UNSW and the University of Sydney found the project to be a success, with 89% of respondents believing that the Hubs improved the local area, and 92% agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement “In the future, I will use the ChillOUT Hub.”

The ChillOUT Tree will be launching as a standard shelter product for Street Furniture Australia in 2022. Integrated smart technology will be optional, and a range of roof options will be available – register your interest with Tiffany at editor@streetfurniture.com.

Read and sign up for the Smart Places Customer Charter at NSW DPIE.


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