In the episode of the Smart City Podcast, I interviewed the New Zealand Co-ordinator of SCCei and community focused advocate Julia Hamilton. Julia is a Strategic Projects Advisor for Wellington City Council in NZ and is doing some really exciting stuff. 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. Julia is particularly interested in using technology to support and enhance social outcomes. She talks about some of the projects she is working on and how Smart City tech can be used in planning non-ticketed events and is being used to in emergency response situation to achieve better outcomes. NZ is part of the Digital 5 (I think now is the Digital 7) which is a network of leading digital governments focused on improving the digital economy. Julia also shares insight into the value of collaboration, responsive cities and breaking down accessibility barrier to allow citizens to bring in new information for decision making.

Listen Here:


“[traditionally] we plan cities for people but we don’t really understand how the people interact with the places that we make for them”

“we can use [data] to inform us where people go during an emergency, in real-time to understand where people are, and then also for future planning to understand how did people respond to the stress event and is there things we can put in place”

“A real benefit for Wellington is that we already had these existing collaborations and connections with partners and the technology is really just supporting and enhancing those relationships…rather than saying here’s a cool piece of technology what can we do with it? We are saying here’s a problem, is technology a tool that can help us address this problem?”

“it’s incredible that most of us have never met face-to face but we’ve been able to pull this concept together. [SCCei] is really showing the power of technology and breaking down those barriers”

“providing easy and common access to a way to collaborate, even if that’s through data, is really powerful…now we can always see in real-time what everyone is working on and our meetings are a lot more meaningful”

“I think within the Smart City space there’s a really strong focus around sharing the work that you are doing so we’re not duplicating it and how can we co-benefit from these types of processes”

What we covered:

  • Julia’s background and current role
  • Evidence based decision making for social outcomes
  • Living Lab project and 3D modelling
  • Pedestrian mobility, using sensors and integrating data
  • Our City Tomorrow Project and using data in emergency situations
  • The scale of Smart City Projects in Wellington and the innovation culture
  • How Julia became involved in Smart Cities Council Emerging Innovators
  • NZ’s forward thinking, government led approach and the Digital 5 Nations
  • Access to collaboration and interest-based discussions
  • NZ’s leadership in the Smart City Space and the importance of sharing
  • Responsive cities and using citizens ideas in planning and decisions


Wellington City Council

Partnership with NEC

Living Lab project

Our City Tomorrow project

Digital 5 Nations


Connect with Julia via LinkedIn or email

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The Smart City Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

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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.

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