Stonnington as a smart city

We’re on our way to making Stonnington a smart city.

What is a smart city?

A smart city uses digital technology to improve the life of its people and the work of its staff.

Technology helps us solve problems by finding insights from data around the city.

These insights deliver better outcomes for residents, businesses and visitors to Stonnington. They can improve how Council delivers services and help our infrastructure work harder.

How will Stonnington become a smart city?

We are investing in lots of projects with smart city technology. They are a part of our digital transformation and will help us achieve goals in line with our Council Plan.

After getting feedback from the community and our staff, we have developed the Smart City Strategic Framework(PDF, 5MB).

The Framework is a document that outlines how Stonnington will become a 'smarter' city around three outcome types:

  • Social, like ways to improve digital literacy.
  • Environmental, like saving energy from public lighting.
  • Economic, like helping visitors and shoppers park more easily.

What are our smart city initiatives?

Air quality sensors

What's happening?

We’re trialling air quality sensors at multiple locations around Stonnington. This is the start of a plan to collect lots of data about our environment.

Benefits for our community

Collecting and analysing quality environmental data is an important step in reducing the impact of climate change. Our community has told us this is a vital part of planning for the future in Stonnington.

Benefits for Council

Understanding more about the local environment can allow us to make smarter decisions around infrastructure, planning public spaces and health. It will also help us understand how we are meeting our sustainability goals.

Better lighting in public spaces

What’s happening?

We’ve started a project to trial remote-managed adaptive lighting ('smart lighting') in some of our parks.

Benefits for our community

The new lights will tell Council when there is a fault so we can get onto it quickly. This will keep the parks well-lit and safer.

Benefits for Council

With this technology, Council can track energy consumption and maintenance of individual streetlights. With brightness adjustment and automated reporting, smart lighting will help Council be more efficient and reduce costs.

The current pilot locations are:

  • Darling Gardens
  • Caroline Gardens
  • Thomas Oval dog park
  • Ferrie Oval
  • Milton Grey Reserve

Digital literacy and smart benches

What’s happening?

We’re providing free Wi-Fi locations for anyone to access the internet with ‘smart’ benches in public places. Charge your phone by placing it on the panel on top of the bench or by plugging a USB cable into the port on the side.

Stonnington libraries also have digital literacy classes.

Where you can find free Wi-Fi?

  • Princes Gardens smart bench, near the basketball courts
  • Horace Petty Estate smart bench, near the playground
  • Malvern library
  • Phoenix Park library
  • Prahran Square library
  • Toorak Library

How do I access the Wi-Fi from the smart bench?

  1. Stand or sit within 20 meters of the bench
  2. Open your device’s Wi-Fi settings.
  3. Select 'Stonnington Smart Bench'.
  4. A message will appear asking you to connect.
  5. Select 'Go online'.
  6. You will be connected to the internet.

Benefits for our community

It’s never been more important for everyone to feel comfortable accessing and using the internet. Digital inclusion and literacy are a key part of our Smart City Strategic Framework. It makes sure the benefits of smart technology are available to the most vulnerable in our community.

Benefits for Council

Council is making more services available online, which has many benefits for us and the people who live, work and play in Stonnington. Completing tasks online is easier and more convenient for many people. For Council, it allows us to collect insights to improve our services and make our work more efficient.

Monitoring parking availability

What's happening?

A smart parking system in the Prahran Square underground car park gives real-time data on the availability of car spaces. We are trialling this technology in other areas, too.

Benefits for our community

Car park availability information is displayed on digital signs on nearby streets. This technology can reduce congestion and improve safety, as people will know where best to park when visiting the area.

Benefits for Council

Parking occupancy and availability data will help us better plan future works and upgrades to our car parks.

MyStonnington app

The MyStonnington app is designed to make it easier for you to access more Council services anywhere, anytime.

Traffic sensors

What's happening?

We have installed sensors around our busy transport network to count the volume and speed of vehicles, including:

  • pedestrians
  • bicycles
  • cars
  • trucks
  • trams
  • mobility aids on footpaths.

Here is where we currently have sensors set up:

  • Prahran Square - pedestrian monitoring
  • Thomas Oval dog park - visitation monitoring
  • Daly Street - pedestrian monitoring
  • Chapel Street - traffic monitoring
  • High Street, Prahran - traffic monitoring
  • Commercial Road, Prahran - traffic monitoring
  • High Street Malvern - traffic monitoring
  • Function on Chapel, Prahran - pedestrian monitoring
  • Malvern Library - pedestrian monitoring
  • Phoenix Park Library - pedestrian monitoring
  • Toorak/South Yarra Library - pedestrian monitoring
  • Prahran Square Library - pedestrian monitoring

Benefits for our community

We'll use this information to decide where we control or separate traffic to improve safety. The information is particularly relevant for cyclists and pedestrians. Safer and more sustainable transport options will also improve the wellbeing of our community.

Benefits for Council

Many Council projects will use this data to make better decisions. For example, the Chapel Street Transformation Project will use pedestrian data to understand how the precinct is recovering from the pandemic. The Department of Transport will also use the data to inform where to place better pedestrian crossing controls.

RFID tags on food and green waste bins

What's happening?

To be more efficient and responsive with our waste collection service, we are trialing a new initiative that will utilise the new food and garden waste bins’ radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.

For the trial, one of our waste trucks will be fitted with an RFID reader. When the truck picks up the bin, it reads and registers the bin’s RFID tag including the location and time.

The RFID tag itself does not collect:

  • personal information
  • information about the contents of the bin.

The trial will last for 3-months from March 2023. 

Benefits for Council

Currently, we have a paper-based system to manage waste collection and bin requests. This initiative will provide near real-time information to our Customer Service team to respond to reports and questions better.

Initiatives like this one will be at forefront of promoting smart resource management and aligns with the Community Vision 2040, future Waste Strategy and Smart City Strategic Framework.

Learn more about RFID tags on food and green waste bins.


Data collection and privacy

For more information on how data is collected and used as part of the Smart Cities program, visit our Smart City Data Collection and Privacy page.