GC2018: HOW THE GOLD COAST IS HARNESSING TECHNOLOGY TO DELIVER A GREAT COMMONWEALTH GAMES EXPERIENCE
DAN BARR | COORDINATOR CITY OPERATIONS, COMMONWEALTH GAMES UNIT, CITY OF GOLD COAST
GOLD COAST 2018 COMMONWEALTH GAMES TM
There are only 17 months to go until the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth GamesTM (GC2018). The ambition of a young city in successfully delivering such a large complex event is matched by the legacy that it will leave behind in terms of public realm, brought forward infrastructure, and the generation of new knowledge industries as a result of the strategic delivery of the athlete’s village. These benefits are being optimised by efforts to use technology and the collection of data to measure the Gold Coast's meteoric city building journey over the last 50 years.
This journey is taking place against a backdrop of community collaboration involving both traditional and innovative engagement methods to drive decision-making regarding public domain investment and GC2018 operational planning. A driving force behind this is the need to ensure Games investment in the city and more specifically in public space, meets the diverse needs of the Gold Coast’s residents and visitors.
During GC2018, the city will come alive through the venues, the festival 2018 program, sponsorship activations, media broadcasting, and the influx of visitors to the Gold Coast. Anyone who has attended a comparable event will relay the palpable “energy in the host city” which gets recounted by residents and visitors years later as the most exciting part of their experience.
CITY BUILDING PROJECTS
Preparations to deliver this experience have driven unprecedented government investment in the city in sporting and community venues, flexible event spaces, streetscapes, public art, and transport infrastructure. GC2018 has also been the catalyst for brought-forward city building projects, such as the second stage of light rail, ICT infrastructure, and the health and knowledge precinct intended to drive collaboration between Griffith University, research centres and the health sector - ultimately acting as the athlete’s village in 2018.
An increasingly important element of the City’s GC2018 planning is the need to use technology to plan smarter, invest smarter and operate smarter. Perhaps the best example of this improved functionality is the heightened priority that has been placed on the sharing of GIS data between partner organisations such as the organising committee, emergency services and the City as a means of integrating capital works, sharing operational planning, and providing a single point of truth.
Whilst this will contribute to the efficient delivery of GC2018, it will ultimately accelerate ‘smart city’ aspirations regarding the use of spatial information to plan for and operate the city more effectively. At Games time, this will translate into a more mobile workforce and provide more accurate information for spectators than any previous Commonwealth Games. This ability to provide real time, spatial data presents an exciting array of opportunities to interact with the community, spectators, and visitors to the city with potential applications including notifications relating to pop-up cultural activations, mobile food trucks, Games presentations and festival activities.
LOCATION DATA TECHNOLOGY
Improved use of spatial data is being coupled with Bluetooth data from mobile phones in an effort to better understand crowd movements which will inform how the event is planned and where to focus investment. This location data technology has originated in the retail sector to understand consumer behaviour in shopping centres with strong application to the public domain.
On the Gold Coast it is currently used to assist event planning and evaluation and will be used at Games time to monitor crowd welfare and assist in city operations. It is also being used to understand day-to-day crowd movements and highlight opportunities for public sector investment and improved public and private domain interfaces.
CITY OF GOLD COAST APP
These ongoing preparations to ensure the city looks and operates its best during GC2018 are being assisted by the City’s mobile application in operation since 2014 which encourages users to become an active participant in this process.
This App enables the community to advise the City on issues related to graffiti, overgrown garden beds, potholes, etc with nearly a thousand requests occurring each month. In the lead up to and during GC2018, this will be a vital resource in managing increased service level requirements in a prompt manner. As such the scope of this app is being increased to cover a broader range of issues and align with the City’s integrated digital platform being delivered prior to GC2018.
GC2018 represents a generational opportunity to drive the Gold Coast’s city building and smart city agenda. The appropriate use of technologies is vital in ensuring the successful delivery of GC2018; making best use of this investment and actively engaging with the community.
It is expected that the Commonwealth Games will have a profound effect on the Gold Coast post 2018 - just as it did for cities such as Glasgow in 2014 and Brisbane in 1982. It is therefore essential that all available tools are used to optimise the opportunity, and position the Gold Coast to deliver a great Commonwealth Games experience and an enduring legacy.
issue 2. summer 2016