What is ChillOUT?

ChillOUT Hub in Belgrave Street, Kogarah.

How might we increase community connectivity, enable knowledge exchange and provide flexible spaces to meet, work and play?

ChillOUT, a collaborative project by Georges River Council, UNSW and Street Furniture Australia, seeks to answer this question.

Cities are becoming compact. With this increase in high density living there is greater pressure on public space to provide opportunities to rest, connect with community and immerse in nature.

The trio team inspects the first prototype at the Street Furniture Australia factory.

What are ChillOUT Hubs?

ChillOUT Hubs are prototype smart open-air community spaces.

Each hub is configured using a modular system of Smart Tree shade structures, street furniture and integrated technology.

They feature public WiFi, device charging, seats and tables, smart bins, smart drinking fountains, lighting, planter boxes and artwork. One of the sites – in Mortdale – runs via solar power.

Sensors will monitor user numbers, the microclimate and utilities. The urban heat island effect will be measured and mitigated through greenery, shade and cooling pavement paint.

Three hubs are currently being installed in south-west Sydney – in a town centre, busy streetscape and green suburban park.

The official opening scheduled to take place early next year.

ChillOUT Aria Table casting sample.
ChillOUT Smart Tree node: comparing sample to 3D-printed prototype.
Testing ChillOUT Smart Tree electricals.

SAM Dashboard

Developed by UNSW, the Smart Asset Management (SAM) Dashboard is the front end of an Internet of Things (IoT) network of sensors embedded in the ChillOUT Hubs.

It will provide a way to monitor and manage urban assets and facilities.

The user-friendly dashboard enables multiple urban data sources to be viewed on a centralised platform.

SAM Dashboard will be used to analyse the performance of the ChillOUT hubs.

Human-centred Design

Human-centred design methodologies were used to deeply understand the user needs and aspirations of each of the three sites.

Town Centre: Macquarie Place, Mortdale.
Locals come to do their shopping and errands. Older users may sit on a bench and converse for hours. An opportunity became apparent to provide a central hub for the community to meet, dine and take a break.

This site will be solar powered.

Before Installation: Macquarie Place, Mortdale.
An artist’s impression of the Mortdale Town Centre ChillOUT Hub. Image: CM+
Weekend parents observed taking children shopping in Mortdale.
User personas for Mortdale Town Centre.

Streetscape: Belgrave Street, Kogarah.
A busy thoroughfare. Many workers, patients and visitors pass by each day, walking to and from the hospital, library and train station. The current plaza features hard surfaces and lacks shade.

This hub will be an oasis for the community to stop on the way, have lunch and collaborate on projects. It aims to provide respite.

Before Installation: Belgrave Street, Kogarah.
An artist’s impression of the Kogarah ChillOUT Hub. Image: CM+
User personas for Belgrave Street, Kogarah.

Suburban Park: Timothy Reserve, Hurstville.
Features an enclosed playground for families, shaded areas for group exercise, settings for picnics and after-school study. We saw opportunities to provide seating for parents to look out over the playground while charging their phone, places for birthday parties, and to plug in a boom box for social dancing.

This ChillOUT Hub will be a joyful place for seniors, parents and children to meet and play. It aims to enhance an already successful public place.

Before Installation: Timothy Reserve, Hurstville.
An artist’s impression of the Timothy Reserve ChillOUT Hub. Image: CM+
User personas for Timothy Reserve, Hurstville.

Get the ChillOUT Discovery Report

Empathy interviews, observations and persona descriptions can be found in our ChillOUT Discovery Report, available for download.

Access the full ChillOUT Discovery Report (34.4MB, 65pp).

Stay Tuned

Installation of the hubs has begun. Follow StreetChat for regular updates on progress and launch events including idea sharing, tours and hackathons, and a visit from smart city leader Tel Aviv Municipality.


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