The City of Sydney has put the call out to service providers who can help bring the city’s public amenities into the digital future.
Sydney’s current street furniture contracts have been in place for almost 20 years and will expire in 2019, which has motivated a complete overhaul of the cityscape by introducing free public wifi and new bus shelters, kiosks and public toilets equipped with digital technology.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said this would be an opportunity to invest in new street furniture with a consistent style and using technologies to make it easier for people to stay informed and find their way around.
We want to make sure no one is left behind in this shift to a digital future, so we’re looking for innovative local and international providers with new ideas to deliver fast and free public wifi.Lord Mayor Clover Moore
Under the initiative, still in its infancy, public toilets would be automated, public furniture would be constructed with sustainable materials and bus shelters would provide real-time emergency, event and transport information on digital displays.
The City intends to bankroll these modern changes and their inevitable maintenance with the revenue collected from advertising on these street items, with a portion of advertising on street furniture items will be reserved for cultural events that support the arts and encourage people to take part in local creative endeavours.
Public wifi has been an ongoing initiative for Sydney, which unveiled plans to provide free internet in several key locations since 2015.
Expressions of interest are open until 6 February, with the contracts for both the wifi service and street furniture to be awarded around mid-2018.
The existing street furniture items will be progressively removed and replaced with new items from 2019.
“The changes would help make Sydney more attractive and accessible while meeting the needs of today’s tech-savvy commuters, residents and tourists,” the Mayor said.