New ‘Fitbit for cities’ technology to monitor health of Sydney suburb

A digital windsock has been installed to provide real-time information about weather conditions including wind speed, temperature, humidity, air quality, noise, rainfall and UV index data.

Researchers also placed a buoy in the Parramatta River at Ermington Bay to monitor water quality.

About 5000 homes apartments will be built at the site over 10 years.Credit:Payce

The real-time data, which paints a picture of the health of the suburb and its surrounding environment, can be viewed on a “community dashboard” on the council’s website.

The information gathered will be analysed and used to understand the impacts of development on the surrounding area, improve the suburb’s liveability in the long term, and inform future planning.

“What we learn from the data collected throughout the construction process at Melrose Park will serve as a blueprint for future developments,” Cr Dwyer said.


The $1.1 million project has been delivered in partnership with property developer Payce and the University of Technology Sydney. The scheme received $571,000 in federal government funding.

UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures senior research consultant Andrew Tovey said the project was a strong foundation for future research and collaboration “that can be scaled up or down to other urban developments around the country.”

Payce representative Dominic Sullivan said the joint project would deliver valuable data and information about the large development, which is set to be completed over the next 10 years.

Meanwhile, the NSW government has re-started a specialist support unit to make it easier for local councils across the state to provide assistance to each other in the lead-up to this summer’s bushfire season.

The Local Government Bushfire Recovery Support Group aimed to ensure offers of help from non-bushfire affected councils reached communities devastated by the Black Summer bushfires.

Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock said the support unit would initially focus on helping councils prepare for this year’s bushfire season, but would also play a critical role in linking council resources with communities that needed help and resources in the event of more bushfires.

“With the bushfire season officially beginning this month, I am once again calling on
councils in a position to help other councils to come forward.

“Likewise, I am also calling on those councils who need a hand with bushfire preparedness to register through the specialist unit.”

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