As all aspects of society, including jobs, education, transport, security and services, become increasingly dependent on cutting-edge technology and the internet of things, urban planners need to plan ahead, or risk leaving their residents and workers behind in the digital age.
A good example is the use of unmanned drones. Not only has drone technology advanced rapidly in a short time, linking it with other networked information systems has opened up a world of possibilities for the future.
It is envisaged that unmanned drones will become an integral part of a Norwest’s Smart City as part of a new initiative between Mulpha and The Ripper Group, one of Australia’s leaders in the use of drone technology across a wide range of industries.
The Ripper Group is the leading provider of strategy, training and deployment services for drones and remote piloted aircraft systems. They are also the official drone partner of Westpac and have been patrolling beaches in NSW and Queensland for the last two years.
Mulpha and The Ripper Group have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore, develop and integrate drone technology into Mulpha’s Smart City vision at Norwest.
The venture will look at how the latest drone technology can be used to enhance the security, safety, living and working environment of Norwest as the technology continues to develop at a rapid rate.
This will include investigation into the use of drones for major intersection traffic monitoring at peak times; security and crowd monitoring during large events; as emergency ‘first responders’ providing police, fire and ambulance with an eye in the sky; and delivering emergency medical supplies such as defibrillators, blood and anti-venom to medical providers.
Mulpha Development’s executive general manager, Tim Spencer said this partnership is a very exciting step towards a Smart City future for Norwest.
“We believe this memorandum is a demonstration of how business must move towards a collaboration model to tackle the increasing complexities of technology, regulation, finance and most importantly community engagement.”

"The smarts of the technology does not mean anything if the drone cannot help a community improve liveability."

– Tim Spencer

“Mulpha is excited to be partnering with The Ripper Group to explore the future use of drones so that we are ahead of the game in being able to integrate this technology as it develops,” he said.
“The technology is already here, so it is a matter of understanding it and planning for it in a strategic way, so that all issues are considered, proper testing and pilot programs are conducted and its method of implementation has the support of the community.
“This is all part of our vision for Norwest to become a world-leading innovation and technology hub that will use technology to enhance people’s lives and support the jobs of the future.”
Advisory Board Member and director of The Ripper Group Harold Weldon said: “The Ripper Group has already pioneered the use of drones in a number of areas, particularly search and rescue and emergency response, and we are thrilled to enter this broad-ranging strategic partnership that is open-ended in its possibilities.
“The technology is developing so fast that it’s essential to plan for it and ensure that its use is focused on benefitting the community. Safety and security is our number one focus.”

Mulpha Norwest is owned by Mulpha. In addition to the master-planned community Bella Vista, with 1400 residential blocks and 500 medium density dwellings, Mulpha has developed the 377ha Norwest Business Park.

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