Japanese multinational, Hitachi, Ltd. has announced its intention to invest in the future of Australia’s smart city movement by committing to invest $1.25 billion AUD in its Australian social innovation business.
In an address at the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum in Sydney, Hitachi’s President & CEO, Toshiaki Higashihara addressed how the company will contribute to resolving issues faced by Australian society and improving Australian’s quality of life, through social innovation and leveraging digital technologies.
At the core of the forum was a discussion around the challenges faced by Australian cities as they manage rapid population growth and urbanisation.
The Hitachi Smart City Methodology believes that just as the human body is made up of cells, organs and various systems with specific functions, a city is made up of individuals and organisations with specific functions, and needs to maintain itself as a living system.
The ‘City as an Organism’ concept also requires highly connected sensory and communication networks that measure the level of intelligence and integration of key infrastructure that connects the healthcare, energy, building, transportation and governance sectors.
The convergence of cloud-based computing, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT), combined with the significant decrease in hardware costs, is proving fertile growing conditions for cities that embrace smart technology.
"A new paradigm is that technology is at the service of the people and the city which allows for us to create a better quality of life for all citizens," said David Klingberg, Director and Principal of David Lock Associates, who also presented at the Forum.