Wellington City Council are using VivaCity sensors to gather highly sophisticated and anonymous active transport insights, which will be used to inform future interventions that promote walking and cycling in the city.
VivaCity sensors will be collecting anonymised road user data, including counts of different types of road users, paths of travel, and travel speeds, including cars, trucks, bicycles, scooters, buses and pedestrians.
Empowering data-led decisions
The sensor network will provide Wellington City Council with long-term, continuous monitoring 24/7, 365 days of the year and will enable the Council to make more accurate assessments of how people are moving through the city, making use of cycleways, and monitor in real time the impact of changes made to the transport network.
In time, this data will inform transport strategies and, combined with other data sets, will directly lead to tangible benefits for key Council decisions. The data will used by Council groups including Transport & Infrastructure, Bike network planning, Community Services, Waterfront team, Behaviour Change team, and Let’s Get Wellington Moving will also utilise the data.
Quality data can be used to make better decisions for events, urban design, public safety, and changes impacting the economic and retail environment, and this nationwide-first technology is an exciting step for the city, says Mayor Tory Whanau.
“As the city grows, use of space and transport become more vital to the liveability of Wellington, this kind of information is invaluable for planning and designing our future. These VivaCity sensors gather data around the clock with a high degree of accuracy and anonymity, providing a much more detailed picture of how our public spaces are being used.”
Currently the Council uses manual and bespoke pedestrian and cycle counts, electronic cycle counters, and commercial e-scooter ride data to understand people’s travel patterns.
These datasets established a baseline for long-term trend analysis, but the depth of insights gained are limited due to sample size and geographic coverage.
The lack of continuous monitoring also limits understanding of impacts from unforeseen events like earthquakes, tsunamis and COVID-19 as we currently only monitor during scheduled times.
Citizen-centric smart cities
A key reason that Wellington chose to work with VivaCity was because of our privacy-by-design approach to all that we do. This project has also been through a Privacy Impact Assessment and consulted on with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
“I strongly believe that the future of the Smart City has to be citizen-centric. We have designed our solutions from the ground up to guarantee the privacy of every citizen. The system was developed using data protection-by-design principles and is not just fully compliant with but exceeds the legal requirements in data protection legislation.”Peter Mildon, Chief Operations Officer and Co-founder, VivaCity
Wellington will be home to the first VivaCity network in New Zealand and we’re excited to be partnering with the Council to optimise active transport provision in the city.
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