There are many advantages to becoming a smart city. But chief among them could be the potential they have for boosting regional economies as the result of the cities being made a more appealing place for businesses and tech-savvy professionals alike.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently announced a Smart Cities policy that would create a new unit for infrastructure finance with the goal in mind of providing the resources needed to create smart cities throughout Australia’s metropolitan regions.

Part of this plan is to create what is being dubbed as “30 minute cities” which describes a city where anyone can commute to work, school, and its various lifestyle services in 30 minutes or less. This would require some major overhauls to Australia’s current transportation system, especially in cities like Melbourne where traffic congestion is a considerable problem.

Turnbull’s Smart Cities Plan is the first of its kind, focused on creating a long-term investment strategy that focuses on major cities and their metropolitan areas. By giving big cities the infrastructure improvements it would need, citizens in the surrounding area will have an easier time traveling through and accessing businesses and services.

Having smart IoT technologies in place such as better traffic sensors tied to a centralized control system, widespread access to fiber connections, and other important advancements lead to a better quality of life for citizens, and a more appealing place for businesses to call home.

Australian plan has its challenges

Turnbull’s plan is not without its challenges. For one, this is a major investment undertaking which will require the creation of a new infrastructure financing unit. This unit would work closely with the private sector to create financing solutions for these government projects.

Turnbull believes that by investing in smart city infrastructure, the government of Australia will save a lot more in the long run. Exactly how much, is unclear. Smart cities require proper planning from every level of development.

However, a recent estimate from the Bureau of Infrastructure warned that urban traffic congestion alone costs Australians $16.5 billion each year, with a forecasted increase to between $27.7 and $37.7 billion by 2030.