Open data helps Melbourne keep cool, leading global moves

Melbourne is expanding its open data program, placing temperature and humidity measurements online. But Australian cities are still a long way behind the movement.

The City of Melbourne has begun publishing data on light, humidity and temperature levels online as part of efforts to study the impact of canopy cover on urban cooling. It cements Melbourne’s position as Australia’s leading open data city.

The published figures, part of a three-month data collection and testing trial, come from sensors deployed at Fitzroy Gardens and Library at the Dock in Docklands. It’s hoped the information will help the council’s Urban Landscapes branch to “better understand and communicate the impact of canopy cover for urban cooling”.

In 2012, the council formed a partnership with ARUP and the University of Melbourne for a three-year Australian Research Council Linkage Grant for “Creating a Smart City through Internet of Things”.

The research aims to “develop new systems and algorithms that can help City administrators remotely monitor, understand and interpret real time information on urban environments.”

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