Smart city: using technology to tackle traffic and social isolation in Melbourne

From The Guardian, 19 June 2017:

Traffic congestion and social isolation are two concepts that don’t immediately appear to be connected.

But in 2012, the Grattan Institute’s Social Cities report drew a direct line between inefficient urban transport and less time spent with friends and family. One estimate suggested every 10 minutes of commuting equates to 10% fewer social connections, while other research has found that more than 10% of working parents spend more time commuting to work than they spend with their children. It’s an issue that the city of Melbourne wants to get to grips with.

“Given congestion seems to be getting to be a greater scourge, more people are spending time in their vehicles, but by themselves, maybe listening to the radio. They’re not connecting to their communities and their families,” says Melbourne councillor Cathy Oke, chair of the environment portfolio.

“The city has two clear goals, not only around our transport strategy and around reduction of congestion, but we also have a social connection goal.”

And so the Resilient Melbourne Citymart Challenge was created. The brief: creative, feasible and impactful ideas to help to reduce transport congestion, and ideally also make the experience of travel more socially fulfilling. Read more.

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