In this episode of The Smart City Podcast, I interviewed NSW coordinator of the Smart Cities Council Emerging Innovators (SCCei) and people focused planner Marika Svikis. I’ll start by saying that everything we discuss is personal opinion only and does not represent the companies we work for or is not associated with the companies in any way. Marika is very interested in harnessing big data to better inform design and using how people feel in a city as a metric of success. For example how happy people feel rather than just how efficiently things are running.  We also discussed how the SCCei came to be and the importance of getting young professionals involved. Marika believes that leadership in this space starts with education and that we can’t keep using traditional ways of thinking and working to deliver effective smart cities. She flips the emerging trends questions around on me so you’ll get to hear what I think.

Listen Here:


“I’m interested in how we can harness big data to better inform design…and the way we plan and how we can use people as a metric for the success of a smart city project”

“[Australia’s popultion] is a bit of limitation but we could view it as an opportunity so if we get things right now, or start to get things right in the next few years, as the population grows we won’t have to backtrack”

“A Smart City is done best when the people and the human-centric approach is innately linked with data”

“SCCei is going to be a platform where we are taken seriously and the input that we have will be respected and listened to”

“all these disruptions that are happening in silo…ultimately come together in a Smart City…so a Smart City should be accommodating to all these disruptions which is a huge task”

“[forming SCCei] has definitely opened my eyes to what’s possible when you genuinely want to do something or create something…it just takes that mindset shift and motivation”

What we covered:

  • Marika’s background in architecture and a love for the city
  • Using people as a metric of success for Smart Cities
  • Some of the projects Marika is currently working on
  • How the Smart Cities Council Emerging Innovators (SCCei) group was founded and what’s coming up
  • Opportunities and limitation for Australia in the Smart City Space
  • Linking data with a human-centric approach
  • Using data to measure success and make for better design
  • Getting young people involved in the Smart City Space
  • Smart Cities Week Conference in Sydney in October 2018
  • The importance of changing our thinking and cross disciplinary collaboration
  • How Australia can become leaders through education
  • My thoughts on the emerging trend we aren’t talking about
  • Disruption, changing work environments and breaking down traditional ways of thinking to deliver Smart Cities


Planning Institute of Australia


Twitter or Instagram @SCC_Innovators

Smart Cities Week Conference in October


You can connect with Marika on LinkedIn or via email

You can connect with me on Twitter and Facebook @smartcitypod and email:

The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

My Smart Community

My Smart Community offers consulting and media services with a focus on making our communities more accessible, liveable and sustainable for all. We have a focus on Smart Mobility, Smart project management, Smart technology in regional communities, dealing with disruption and facilitating genuine collaboration. As well as podcast production, communication and media advisory and engagement, keynote speaking, moderating, master of ceremonies and workshop design and facilitation.

The Smart Community Podcast

The Smart Community Podcast is a hub where smart and exciting people from all around the world come to discuss all things Smart City, Smart Town, Smart Region - anything that makes a place more liveable. Together we can create our own Smart Communities.


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