Making Smart Communities that are Accessible, Liveable and Sustainable for All.
SHARE Mobility’s response to Covid-19

SHARE Mobility’s response to Covid-19

This is a time to unite as a global community, as we all deal with this global problem together.

The Smart Community Podcast is planned to continue as normal (which it will) but one of my guests reached out and offered to chat about how his company’s business model completely shifted because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Sharing stories is an important part of the process of moving through this time and also as we rebuild out the other side.

This is the first video of what may become a series of stories shared by #smartcommunity friends around the work.

It is unscripted in the hope that sharing these stories will ignite conversations, connection and collaboration as we come together virtually and support each other as we cope with this global crisis.

In this video you’ll hear from Ryan McManus, the Founder and CEO of SHARE Mobility.

Ryan and I met on my trip to Columbus in January 2020. In response to the current pandemic, SHARE is repurposing their shared transportation network and customer support staff to serve the needs of people who are staying at home.

This video was recorded on the 25th of March 2020. 

Ryan was a guest on The Smart Community Podcast in Episode 164:

Is remote working a part of Smart Mobility?

Is remote working a part of Smart Mobility?

As we move through these uncertain times, more people are working from home, self-isolating and practicing social distancing. In doing this, we are travelling less and prioritising health and safety. Society is reducing unnecessary trips and the need to travel that we used to.  This piece below is adapted from my Churchill Fellowship report which was written last year before COVID-19 was a pandemic, so isn’t specifically in response to the current times but it is relevant to current events and will be even more relevant when we come out the other side.

Decreasing unnecessary travel is a key element of Smart Mobility.

To do this there are a number of things to consider, the first of which is improvements in remote working. This is more of a culture challenge than it is a technical one, however there are key technologies, bandwidth and connectivity issues that need to be considered and addressed. This will of course look different in different fields and industries. But as the work forces change and the ability to “work from anywhere” increases in a large number of industries, traditional organisations will struggle to attract the talent required to survive, let alone thrive. 

This theory also extends to cities and regions having the ability to offer their communities interesting employment and opportunities while not significantly changing the lifestyle that attracts people to them in the first place.

It doesn’t make sense that the commute hasn’t changed in the past 60-70 years given the advancements in all the other areas that make it easier to “work in place”.

Is that to say that we never see people again? No.

Is that to say that we will only ever interact through a computer screen? No.

But is that to say that we build trust in different ways? Yes.

Being able to build trust digitally is an absolute must in any current or future organisation, especially in our climate. For this to work, the first prerequisite is that we need to be operating in a high trust, high respect environment. After that, it is imperative to have systems and processes that support and nurture this environment such as online collaboration tools. This can then open up jobs for people living in regional areas as the jobs can become location independent. Also for people who have limited mobility for whatever reason, this is all of us right now but think about people living with disabilities when we come out of this. This offers the much needed diversity that will be required now and in the future of #smartcommunities.

Can everybody do this? No.

This is important.

People that have jobs where they must be present in a certain place should be prioritised in our network. Professions such as a shop assistant or a nurse or a factory worker, should have their needs planned for first. Alongside this, the needs for people attending necessary services, particularly when they are off-peak need to be considered.

With urban migration currently at odds with housing affordability, people with lower incomes aren’t able to live in the heart of the city with access to all services and therefore move to the outer edges of a city. How do we ensure we are creating places that aren’t sprawling and just increasing the divide once again?

Another element of this is the idea of bringing what we want and need closer to where we live. That is, rather than cities and regions being places that you move through, being places for living. Changing the traffic movements to reclaim back the streets to the people is important but not really enough, however, it’s about sensibly decentralising services to make them within walking and cycling distance from where people live. These include hospitals, universities, power supply, green space, restaurants and entertainment venues.

To counteract the limited diversity of only being where you live, integrated public transport could offer a range of options. These systems have the ability to connect these hubs to other districts and larger spaces. Mixed-use development combined with digital and physical connectivity with a focus on the human experience is what is needed.

Increasing Smart Mobility is imperative for every member of our communities. We don’t know what situations we may find ourselves in the future, but we should be constantly learning from the situations we find ourselves in the present and thinking about we can continue shaping the future we want for our communities.

Looking for something to read? Bringing Smart Mobility into Smart Communities

Looking for something to listen to?

Looking to join the conversation? Watch out on LinkedIn for my next #smartchat

Building Intelligent Communities in Smart Regions with Leanne Kemp

Building Intelligent Communities in Smart Regions with Leanne Kemp

In this #smartcommunity blog, Zoe sat down with Queensland Chief Entrepreneur and good friend of The Smart Community Podcast, Leanne Kemp. They have a great conversation around moving from Smart to Intelligent Communities, the #smart things happening in regional Queensland and bringing people together through innovation.

Can you tell us about your background and what you are passionate about?

My background has been in a series of different disciplines of technologies over the better part of the last 25 years. I’ve been blessed enough to be able to create a number of businesses out of being curious to solve certain challenges or problems that exist. I’m passionate about being curious.

What sparked your interest in Smart Communities?

I see communities and citizens starting to really question the ‘how we’re living’. Most of us know why we live in the places that we live but we should ask ourselves how we’re living in that city and the relationship we have with each other. There’s also the technology aspect of it – ensuring we couple technologies so we all have a better lifestyle. 

What do you think a Smart Community is?

I think Smart City projects are defined as being able to make the city work better. We can apply information and communication technology to accurately monitor, measure and control a city’s processes. We can also apply these technologies from transport to water supply. Smart Cities are about saving money, becoming more efficient and delivering a better service to the taxpayer and the citizens. 

Intelligent communities are different. I think intelligent communities adopt technologies, but they don’t make it their entire focus. Instead, they find vision driven, community-based smart solutions to solve the most urgent problems in the community. They seek out to make better cities, both large and small, urban and rural, where citizens and employers want to thrive and really prosper in the broadband economy that exists. I think this is especially true in rural and regional Queensland. 

How do you think Queensland is embracing the Smart Community concept? 

I think some cities and communities are embracing broadband and IT infrastructure as something that needs to be focused on to be competitive. Also, more energy is going into developing a workforce that is able to do the knowledge work.

More effort goes into crafting an innovation ecosystem where businesses, governments and institutional partners can create high-quality employment and also meet the social needs of the community. We need to be putting more emphasis access to digital skills and technology for those who are otherwise likely to be left out. 

Can you tell us about some of the work that you’ve been doing across Queensland?

Over the past year, I’ve been working from Roma and Charleville to Brisbane. As Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, I’ve been reaching across Queensland to realise innovations, connect with Indigenous communities and trying to get to the real core of each of these communities. I’ve been really enjoying the diversity of these areas and developing a set of economic benefits to these communities. 

As you’ve been travelling through these more remote areas, what are some nuggets of innovation that you’ve seen? 

One example I’ve seen is testing new business models between farmers and oil and gas companies to ensure water security and to be drought resilient. I’ve seen scientific research into bush tucker and Indigenous plants that have been growing in these communities. These plants have a commercial quality and through partnering with local universities, we have been able to promote this.  

I’m also seeing entrepreneurs within government starting to break the traditional systems of thinking and leadership hierarchy that has traditionally existed. It’s a really exciting time to be part of something like this and there’s so much more to see. 

How do you think we can better integrate across these different disciplines and bring people together? 

We need to take the fear and failure out of innovation and being an entrepreneur, but it is a challenging environment. Remote areas are distant, but we do have possibility to blend this with our incredible natural beauties such as The Great Barrier Reef. 

I also feel that have three tiers of government is a challenge. We really need collaboration and coordination to move forward the next set of work. We need to need to know who the right people are to get in the room, especially in remote areas.

How can people connect with you? 

OQCE social media:

Facebook: QChiefEntrepreneur

Twitter: QChiefEntrepren

Instagram: QChiefEntrepreneur

Linked In: Queensland Chief Entrepreneur

YouTube: Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur

Sign up to OQCE newsletter via website:

Leanne Kemp social media:

My Twitter – @leanne_kemp

Instagram: leannemkemp

And my LinkedIn – just search for Leanne Kemp

Digital Transformation in Smart Communities with Hyma Vulpala

Digital Transformation in Smart Communities with Hyma Vulpala

Welcome to the My Smart Community Blog series. We are excited to bring you original content on a regular basis sharing insights and expertise from interviews with #smart professionals from around the world and thoughts pieces from our CEO Zoe Eather.

In this week’s blog Zoe sat down with Head of Digital & Data for Yarra Ranges Council (Victoria), Hyma Vulpala to talk about digital transformation, embracing change and skillset shortages.

Can you tell us about your background and what you’re passionate about?

My background is in IT and digital and I’ve been working in this industry for last two decades. My passion is for digital as it gives me the opportunities to learn and evolve with the changing times we live in. 

What sparked your interest in Smart Communities?

I was really attracted to a few areas of the Smart Community environment. The first is connectivity and how it creates opportunities to increase engagement with the community. It’s great how we can improve liveability and gain operational efficiencies through using Smart Community strategies. And just solve problems in general.

What is a Smart Community to you?

A Smart Community means harnessing technological advancements and taking advantage of the opportunities to modernise service delivery. Also, going back to what attracted me to the Smart Community area in the first place, improving liveability.

Why do you think the Smart Community concept is important?

As society moves to a more technology-based environment, digital and data have revolutionised the way we live and work. There is an exponential availability of data that is allowing us to improve sustainability, increased opportunities to develop economically and enhance our quality of life factors. Also, I think as climate change is an ever-pressing issue, there is the potential that the concepts behind Smart Communities can help ease the effects and consequences of climate change. 

How do you think Australia is embracing the Smart Community concept?

I think we are progressively adopting the opportunities. Some sectors such as local government are slowly realising the benefits. I do think, however many industries including agriculture, transport and utilities, are moving to being at the forefront of Internet of Things and are embracing Smart Community concepts. 

How do you think we can better integrate across disciplines, government and industries?

Good question. There are many things that we are doing as part of our digital transformation process which involve working across multiple disciplines internally, and externally with academia and industry. We all need to do more because I think the community will expect this to happen sooner rather than later by taking control of decision making. 

What are the emerging trends that people aren’t talking about?

I think there are a few. The first is that in technology and data are creating new opportunities in many traditional industries; transportation, hospitality and medical among others. We need to discuss how this will affect future employment and the skills that will be needed in these areas as they will be different to the current skills required and available. 

The second is related to the first one. We aren’t sure what new skills are necessary for the future therefore, we aren’t preparing for this.  

And lastly, we need to ensure we embrace the opportunities that comes with the data that is both currently available and the data we are creating every second. 

Where to next for Smart Communities?

There are many potential areas! Things we need to consider are hyper-connectivity, process automation, disaster response and autonomous transportation, just to name a few. I would love to see how we can use Smart Community strategies to reduce carbon emissions, minimise costs and increase performance across all industries. 

I also think the areas of city budgeting and neighbourhood decision making could be the next trend in Smart Communities and there’s a lot that could come from that. No one knows exactly where we are going but I’m excited to be involved in getting there. 

How can people connect with you?

Using my Linkedin – Feel free to connect or send me a message. 

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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