National Geographic Smart Cities

Tuesday, 14 February 2017


National Geographic has named Newcastle as one of the world’s 7 Smart Cities that have risen to the challenges of 21st century urban life.

The University of Newcastle’s (UON) NeW Space campus and an inner-city digital precinct were cited by National Geographic as key attributes of Newcastle’s global “Smart City” status.

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, said the University, in collaboration with Newcastle City Council and its partners in industry and the community, had a fundamental role in shaping the  future of the city.

“This announcement confirms Newcastle’s growing international reputation as a region of innovation, creativity and talent. Our University is developing the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs, who are working with our researchers, talented students and community to build the new jobs and businesses that will grow our economy in the decades ahead.”

In collaboration with Newcastle City Council, Newcastle Now and Hunter DiGiT, UON is a lead partner in the Hunter Innovation Project, supported through the NSW Government’s Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund (HIIF). The initiative is deploying smart technology and wifi throughout Newcastle’s central business district and establishing an innovation hub to bring together researchers, students, developers, entrepreneurs, investors, technology specialists, and business advisors.

In mid-2017, UON’s new inner-city university campus - NeW Space - will welcome its first cohort of students who will benefit from a technology-rich, ‘next generation’ learning environment.

National Geographic Traveller editor in chief, George W. Stone said the National Geographic Travel Smart Cities initiative was launched to give their global audience the destination intelligence they needed to visit the world’s most exciting cities.

“We are on a global hunt to find cities where innovation meets imagination and are quickly becoming the next great travel destinations,” said Mr Stone.

“Newcastle is a city where innovation is visible at every corner and where both locals and visitors benefit from the placemaking strategies that bring together public and private interests; and where policymakers and business owners cooperate to create sustainable urban spaces that everyone can enjoy.”

Some of our renowned researchers explain why Newcastle is a magnet city for them: