19th July 2016
New Zealand’s capital city has signed two new agreements with Seoul and Canberra to develop smart city solutions and knowledge.
Despite Wellington’s relatively small Korean population, Celia Wade-Brown, the mayor, said the Friendly Cities agreement would develop and promote economic, educational technology and industry relations.
“It will increase the sharing of information on common urban issues and new technology and establish Seoul as a strategic cultural and economic partner,” she said. “There is potential for a partnership between Wellington’s Collider Tech Hub and the Seoul Centre for Creative Economy and Innovation. I was impressed by Mayor Park’s [Mayor of Seoul] commitment to a human-centred transport paradigm.”
The city has reached out to other capital cities in the Asia Pacific region, including Canberra. Andrew Barr, the Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, flew to Wellington in July to sign a new Sister Cities agreement.
Part of his visit took in a tour of the Collider Tech Hub and NEC’s Living Lab project that provides smart city technology including sensors that can ‘smell’ solvents to detect graffiti being sprayed.
“It was fantastic to see firsthand how Wellington City Council and NEC New Zealand are working together to achieve real solutions to city problems by implementing innovative technology,” said Barr. “It is clear this is a model that Canberra can draw inspiration from as we work towards becoming a leading international smart city.”
To enable the new partnership to flourish, Singapore Airlines announced a new ‘capital express’ route linking Singapore with Canberra and Wellington four times a week.
“It will deliver real benefits for Wellington. Singapore Airlines’ new ‘Capital Express’ route is a great example of what this Anzac alliance can deliver,” said Wade-Brown. “It makes sense that our capital cities have close cultural, economic, political and environmental ties.”