Episode Archive

SCP E48: Different approaches to Smart Cities, with Janice Lee

In this episode of the Smart City Podcast I interview Janice Lee. Janice is the Director of Infrastructure Advisory at EY and also recently joined me on the Future Leaders, Future Cities delegation to Japan. It was really great to hang out with Janice in person in Japan, and in this episode we discuss our observations; we talk about how Australia and Japan are approaching the Smart City space differently, but also how some things are exactly the same. We also discuss work that Janice is doing in the government advisory in the Smart City space, and the emerging trends that other people aren’t talking about in depth. As always, I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Janice’s background in government in economic and infrastructure portfolios and why she is passionate about what public policy
  • What sparked her interest in the Smart City space and long term planning for transport
  • What a Smart City is to Janice and why she believes it’s so important
  • Similarities and differences between Japan and Australia’s approach to Smart Cities
  • The importance of resilience to cities in Japan’s city solutions
  • Why we don’t need to wait for future tech and how to make a Smart City while still using Windows 98
  • The tension between the technology and how it gets used
  • How Australia is embracing the Smart City concept and the opportunities for how to make our cities digitally enabled
  • What inspired Janice about her experience in Japan
  • Why Janice and EY are evolving their services and practices for resilience, citizen centricity, ecosystem collaboration and data/tech enablement
  • The challenge of integrating across different disciplines, governments and private sector
  • The emerging trends of data and integration and collaboration


“The things that I’m most passionate about really are just what public policy can do for improving the way governments think about some of the problems that citizens face and what it can do in terms of applying good discipline, data and analysis to solve those problems.”

“What is the role of high quality infrastructure in making cities function really well, in making them prepared for growth?”

“There’s a huge potential in the way in which technology is developing at the moment just to reimagine how some of this traditional infrastructure networks deliver and how they service citizens.”

“In my mind [a Smart City] is really about a city that uses technology and digital enablement to improve the wellbeing of citizens, and to improve the liveability of that city.”

“How do we work with this trend of urbanisation that we’re seeing to actually make sure that individuals aren’t left behind, and that they’re able to live in this inclusive way within these very large groupings of people within cities?”

“Because cities are these vast and complex physical and social networks, and all around the world we’re seeing massive urbanisation…cities can capture both the best and the worst of places, and they can have these incredible opportunities that are created by that density and that diversity, but they can also have really intractable problems around affordability, safety, …poor planning.”

“It’s never about the technology, it’s about how it gets used. Who adopts it, in what ways does it change the delivery of services…how do we harness that?”

“I really felt inspired after our Japan trip. I saw a complementarity…a difference in emphasis between the Japanese and Australian companies, but also a difference in approach…I left thinking there are some real opportunities for partnership here.”

“The integration piece is really the challenge, because we’re seeing already these pockets of innovation happening all over the place but what is missing is the piece that brings it all together.”

Links and resources:

Japan’s concept of Society 5.0


Adam Fennessy


Connect to Janice on LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

Podcast Production by Perk Digital


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