SCP E05: Technology that makes the human experience richer, with Janine Betz

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In this episode of the Smart City Podcast, I had a great conversation with a fellow member of the Smart Cities Council Emerging Innovators Group, Janine Betz. Janine is a passionate advocate for sustainability and using Smart techniques to help fight against climate change. Western Australia is really lucky to benefit from Janine’s background, as she brings the European approach to sustainability and moulds it to suit the Australian conditions and environment. We discussed the challenges and opportunities building a 6-star Green Star Rating project, and how Smart Cities is about the integration between sustainability and innovation. Janine also talks passionately about Western Australia finding its feet in terms of culture, growth and identity, and how WA is well on their way to leading certain aspects of Smart Cities.

Disclaimer: Everything discussed is personal opinion only and does not represent the companies we work for or associated in any way with these companies.

What we cover in this episode:

  • Janine’s engineering, architecture and urban design background
  • How coming to Australia as an outsider from Europe gives her a unique perspective
  • Using technology to make the human experience richer
  • Building Information Modelling from a horizontal as well as a vertical perspective
  • The projects Janine is working on at the moment
  • Why a 6-Star Green Star Rating goes beyond the environmental rating, to the community and economics aspects as well
  • The Smart Tech that Janine sees as opportunities elsewhere in the world but can be a challenge to implement in Australia
  • Where Janine sees Europe leading the Smart Cities and climate change conversation compared to Australia
  • The reason we need to be careful about buzz words and greenwash terms
  • The need for a mindset shift and taking a broader viewpoint when discussing innovation in Australia
  • The opportunities, growth and mindset shifts in WA over the last decade
  • The need to foster more collaboration between industry, academia and governments
  • Why Australia is well placed to lead Smart City developments
  • The opportunities and challenges of an holistic approach to transport
  • One way Amsterdam customises the experience a person has with the environment

“I think that the conversation about Smart Cities is possibly one of the most important ones occurring at this point in time. As we know, climate change and sustainability as a whole is a challenge of our time.”

“Smart City really revolves around the human experience. For me, people are the central aspect of how we design our city…To me technology is a way of getting to a point where we design cities that improve the experience that the citizen has”

“We need to make sure that whatever cities we plan, we do that in a way that is inclusive, and that it is not only accessible to those that embrace technology…What I would like to see is for the technology to be largely invisible.”

Links to projects mentioned:

Connect with Janine:

You can connect with Janine via LinkedIn, she’d love to hear your comments on this episode.

Connect with Zoe:

Connect with me on Twitter or Facebook @smartcitypod, or via email: zoe@thesmartcitypodcast.com

Podcast Production by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

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