Green Vision

Disruptive Technologies - Let’s Prepare!

Infrastructure Growth & Housing

Accessibility

 
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GREEN VISION - CLIMATE CHANGE AND GREEN TECHNOLOGY

This isn’t a compromise between protecting the future or advancement of Hamilton, but simply choosing the least destructive way in which to advance. Growing our green technology is the best way forward in terms of growing the economy, becoming the ‘city of the future’ technologically, from a humanistic viewpoint, and just about every measurement of well-being.

The only way that following the status quo would be more profitable than transitioning to renewable energy and electric vehicles is if you’re planning on dying or moving to Mars in the next 10 years i.e. you would have to be focusing on short-term profits.

So, if we want to be profitable long-term, this is what we need to do:

-          Support electric vehicles by adding more charging stations and supercharger ports. Each electric vehicle hub should also charge e-scooters and electric bikes.

-          Expand pedestrian only areas and improve bike lanes to be safer and to include e-scooters. The University of Waikato, Wintec, and the CBD are good places to start.

-          Improve the waste minimisation scheme to include electronics, while working with businesses to curb the supply of non-biodegradable materials.

-          Transition to electric buses and make them available for free to under 25s, over 65s and disabled people in weekends.

-          Invest in solar on council buildings.

 
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DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES ARE COMING… LET’S PREPARE!

We need a department of new technologies that focuses on technologies that may disrupt industries within 10 years. This, along with the Green Vision will help future proof the economy.

From a report by the Controller and Auditor-General it was noted “generally, government agencies have been slow adopters of technology when compared to the private sector – reflecting both a degree of risk-aversion and the absence of the competitive forces that drive the growth, decline, entry and exit of commercial providers. Government agencies are often designed (and defined) around the delivery of a particular public service, and they may find it difficult to reinvent themselves to achieve outcomes in new or different ways.  Over the last 25 years, slow adoption of new technologies by government agencies has arguably contributed to a widening productivity gap between public and private sectors.” This needs to change!

As a technology entrepreneur with a social enterprise my brain is wired to be urgent and competitive, with a humanitarian focus.

-          Prepare for a sharp increase in drone deliveries within the next three years. We need to think about delivery hubs, drone lanes or computer air traffic controls, and regulations around decibel levels and proximity to housing.

-          Provide infrastructure in the form of drop-off zones for self-driving cars and robo-taxis. Luckily in NZ there is nothing in the rode code that requires a person to be driving instead of a robot, so cities now need to think about infrastructure.

-          Support augmented reality tours around Hamilton including historical tours, food and drink tours, or art tours.

-          Monitor costs and technology regarding car delivery systems (hyperloop), desalination, and carbon sequestration.

-          Prepare for automation, machine-learning, and AI. These technologies will affect traffic management, road maintenance, tree planting, and will result in more responsive and individualised council services.

-          Make public record available on a public blockchain so they are more secure and easy to access. Announce that cryptocurrencies are currencies and can be used to pay bills to the HCC and in stores that decide to accept it.

-          Expand internet services as a right to keep Hamiltonians competitive.


 
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GROWTH & INFRASTRUCTURE - EMPOWER RESIDENTS AND HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

We have enough flexibility in the 30-year infrastructure plan to allow for unexpected changes in technology in 10 – 30 years, but I think preparations for some of these highly disruptive and highly likely technologies needs to be more urgent.

To improve housing affordability, along with house prices and rent prices we need to look at the big picture i.e. housing supply, availability of apartments in the city, real wages and well-being.

-          Encourage supply of flatpacks and automation and set standards for flat pack houses.

-          Embrace cheap transport options such as e-scooters, bikes and pedestrians in the city by developing safer cycle lanes and creating pedestrian only areas on Hood Street and other parts of the CBD.

 -          Make building standards clear and easily accessible with info-graphics and YouTube videos. Work with property managers, real estate agents and landlords to ensure standards and regulations are clear.

-          Encourage the development of apartments and vertical farms in the city.

-          Ensure a 20% proportion of new housing developments are filled by trees to maintain habitats and biodiversity.

-          Strengthen cybersecurity throughout current infrastructure. Part of this includes watching new technologies like deep fakes and fake text. We need to create more secure ways to verify identity such as blockchain or explore if RealMe can be used and is sufficient.

-          Work with central government towards the goal of ending long-term homelessness.

 

ACCESSIBILITY

25% of the population of Waikato are disabled. We need to build stronger and more inclusive communities. Having more people participating in the community and spending locally will increase velocity of money, which improves our economy.

Considering 59% of those over 65 are disabled and considering this population group is going to grow from 15% to 30% of the population in the next 50 years, we need to address accessibility with urgency. With the population of New Zealanders over 65 increasing, there will also be an increase in disabled people travelling which is a significant economy Hamilton should compete to capture.

Physical disabilities are the most common disabilities, followed by sensory impairments like hearing/vision, then psychological/psychiatric, visual, and finally intellectual. With me working at HCC, the council will need to make the council building fully accessible for physically disabled people. This will help develop HCC as an accessible employer.

-          Make public transport accessible to all of the public. Ensure all buses and pick up spots are fully accessible.

-          Maintain and improve council’s web accessibility based on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and other recommendations from constituents.

-          Accessible housing that is also affordable.

-          We need to build staff disability awareness into an HCC competency framework so we know that all representatives can demonstrate an understanding of the lived experience of disabled people.

-          Promote/fund/deliver accessible events and buildings and facilities.

-          Add more detail to disability access map, develop interactive app, and enforce accessible parking violations in the weekend. Show all accessible carparks that are available, public toilets, gradients and public facilities in the city.