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Christchurch City Council joins the Orbica Community

Written by Kurt Janssen

24 September 2023

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Orbica is proud to welcome Christchurch City Council as the latest customer to join the Orbica Geospatial Platform.

Orbica is helping Christchurch City Council achieve their Smart Christchurch goals by providing the Geospatial Platform that will ingest and analyse the data collected, as well as providing building and hosting services for the visualisation tools that will be produced.

The Council’s Smart Christchurch programme was launched in 2016 with the goal of promoting Ōtautahi as an open, connected and smart city. As a company that was born in Christchurch, Orbica is proud to be a part of this journey.

Why is being a Smart City important?

Smart Cities help both cities and communities thrive. By utilising technology available and analysing the data, it is possible to gain insights into ways that cities can be improved that benefit everyone.

We can create a safer, more connected and smarter Christchurch.

“Being a ‘smart city’ brings many benefits, such as better planning and decision-making, attracting international talent to the city, and creating new business opportunities.”

What are some of the Council’s Smart Cities Initiatives?

Smart Poles- As part of a two-year trial run by the Council, two Kōtuitui Smart Poles, designed by Connetics, have been installed at Navel Point. The goal of the trial is reflected in its name, to improve connectivity in the community and encourage the public to engage with smart technologies.

The poles are equipped with a range of smart features which are help connect ad support the local community while also gathering important data insights for the Council to use in future planning, development, and maintenance projects. These smart features include free Wi-Fi network, CCTV cameras connected to the police network, advanced lighting fixtures, vehicle counters, and speakers for public alerts.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Tracker- Christchurch City Council is creating an interactive visualisation of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions and transport trends. The goal for the city is to halve its emissions (excluding methane) by 2030 and having a visualisation tool that clearly shows the largest sources of emissions allows for decision makers to identify areas where they can focus on reducing the impact.

The tracker displays a number of different transportation modes including cycling, buses, battery electric vehicles, and fossil fuel vehicles. It will also be available to the public so that they can see how to the city is becoming greener.

Environmental Sensors Network- Did you know that Waitākiri Bottle Lake Forest Park is now protected by a network of environmental sensors? The Christchurch City Council Information Network (CCCIN) are trialing a network of five environmental sensors around the Forest with the aim to help protect it by altering emergency services when conditions indicate a heightened risk of fire breaking out.

There will additionally be an online portal and mobile app available for residents who would like to keep an eye on things like pollen count in the area.

How does Orbica fit into this?

Powered by the trifecta of Cloud, AI, and Geospatial tech, Orbica is the first cloud-native Geospatial Platform that uses AI to help improve efficiency and accuracy of data and enable solutions to be created that benefit both the city’s residents and protect its environment. The Platform’s offering of unparalleled scalability, flexibility, and agility, means that it can easily meet the demands of the Council. Utilising the AWS Cloud means that CCC can easily securely store their mega data and scale up and down their storage depending on need. Additionally, another important part of CCC’s research is the ability to share their findings with other Councils so that together they can collaborate to improve multiple areas around Aotearoa. Orbica’s ‘no-user licence’ model allows for the data collected to be easily shared both internally within CCC and other Councils, promoting collaborative research and data-drive solutions.

You can read more about Christchurch City Council’s Smart Christchurch plan here, or you can get in touch with the Orbica team to find out how we can help you and your organisation here.