City Innovation Strategy

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Our City Innovation Vision: “Launceston will take a people-first approach to foster innovation, embrace appropriate technology, and utilise data to enhance liveability, accessibility, connectivity and sustainability”.

Launceston is no stranger to innovation. Often referred to as a ‘city of firsts’, Launceston was the first city in Australia to install a sewer system, the first to be powered entirely by hydro electricity and the first to use anaesthetics in medical operations.  This Strategy continues Launceston’s innovation, in alignment with the City’s adage of Progress with Prudence. 

Download the City Innovation Strategy(PDF, 6MB)

About the Strategy

The City of Launceston Innovation Strategy is a people-first approach to innovation, informed by best practice research and extensive community engagement through dedicated surveys and workshops. The strategy covers the strategic landscape in Launceston, providing a framework to facilitate and promote Launceston's innovation initiatives over the next five years. It complements existing state and national success in advancing innovative projects across Tasmania and aligns with wider regional goals articulated in the Greater Launceston Plan.

Strategic and Technology principles have been identified that will guide all future innovation activity. Developed in collaboration with our community and key stakeholders, Council will consider the principles at every stage of an innovation project from idea formation, throughout project delivery and policy development, into ongoing management and beyond.

This Strategy is based around six strategic themes. The key themes are used to support the organisation to identify focus areas, prioritise and deliver projects. The Council has a leading role to play in delivering many of the objectives outlined under each theme, while others will be best achieved by local partners, regional partnerships, or the Tasmanian and Australian governments. In all instances, the City of Launceston will play a leading role in advocating for each objective through collective effort.

Overall, the City of Launceston Innovation Strategy is a comprehensive plan that emphasises collaboration and community involvement to drive innovation and enhance liveability, accessibility, connectivity and sustainability.

How the Strategy was developed

The City of Launceston partnered with Delos Delta, a team of industry experts specialising in strategy development & innovation, to bring their expertise and experience to the project. While the City of Launceston led all aspects of the project, Delos Delta provided assistance during the engagement phase and offered guidance during the development phase.

With a focus on the people-first approach, it was an easy decision to start with community engagement in an effort to identify aspirations and ideas.

During 2022 a dedicated community survey was launched as well as a staff survey with a total of 242 responses. Council's Tomorrow Together program and survey in 2022 also included City Innovation themes and had 548 responses.

Seven in-person workshops & one interactive online workshop were also held in 2022 with a total attendance of 137. The Workshops included representation from the general community, business, industry, emergency services, and government among other groups. Learnings from surveys and feedback analysed have directly informed the direction of the strategy.

Throughout the development of the strategy there has been continuous collaboration with internal subject matter experts, other councils as well as best practice research.

Frequently asked questions

Why City Innovation rather than Smart City?

Our engagement with the community highlighted your desire for a ‘people first’ approach to progress, and not a ‘tech for the sake of tech’ approach.  We’ve chosen to focus on city innovation because it acknowledges that many of our future plans are dependent on people and not technology.

Launceston has a rich history of Innovation in all its forms, and it is important for us to recognise the important role that our community of residents, businesses and entrepreneurs play in our future progress. 

Has the community been involved in developing the strategy?

The community has been extensively engaged in the development of this Strategy.  Council took a proactive approach to community engagement in 2022 which included a dedicated community survey, several in-person workshops and one interactive online workshop, as well as a staff survey with a total of 242 responses. The Workshops included representation from the general community, business, industry, emergency services, and government among other groups, with a total attendance of 137.

How will the City Innovation Strategy affect our lives?

The Strategy includes our vision for Launceston as an innovative city, and a roadmap with examples of the projects we will see in the future.  The projects below are examples of recent initiatives:

1. The development of a flood intelligence system to provide data and insights in a flood emergency - for example, when to close flood gates or roads, evacuate areas, and notify the community

2. A digital bus stop signage trial with a focus on accessibility

3. Providing secure free public WIFI in areas around the city - an important project for digital inclusion

4. Use of non-identifying Bluetooth counters to enable us to understand people movement and plan better infrastructure in high use areas

5. A 3D model of the CBD to enable better visualisation for planning decisions. 

Will Council use facial recognition to track people movements?

No. While some of the CCTV cameras that council maintain are compatible with facial recognition technology, Council has no plans to enable this feature. 

Will Council collect data on my personal habits and life style choices?

No.  Council will not collect data on the personal habits and lifestyle choices of our community.

Is Council protected against cyberattacks that could compromise personal information?

Council makes every effort to secure any personal information it receives from our community.  We continually strive to ensure our IT and cybersecurity policies, programs, and protections are up to date to offer resistance against any such attacks.  This Strategy helps to consolidate Council’s approach to cybersecurity, making our collective security stronger.

Will the data captured by sensors or CCTV invade my privacy?

No. All current and future initiatives operate under the safeguards and restrictions of relevant Tasmanian and Australian legislation as well as City of Launceston Policies.  Council is committed to ensuring the privacy of its citizens is respected at all times.

What doesn't the Launceston City Innovation Strategy cover?

The Innovating with Intelligence Strategy is focused on aspects of city innovation such as transport and mobility, digital access, and environment and place.  Partnerships with other organisations and sectors are considered and encouraged under the Strategy. 

Notwithstanding, this is a Council document, and cannot determine actions of businesses, independent actors, and other players in the innovation space. 

How can I learn about future projects that are influenced by the City Innovation Strategy?

Community involvement hasn’t stopped with the launch of this Strategy. There will be opportunities to provide input and feedback via the Tomorrow Together program. Contact can also be made via


Example projects

City Innovation is about doing things differently. It includes the deployment and use of technology, pioneering practices, and harnessing new ideas to improve services and products. City innovation improves the lives of residents and strengthens the fabric of our community by enhancing sustainability, liveability, and prosperity.

Launceston Flood Intelligence System

The Launceston Flood Intelligence System brings together rich datasets from external sources such as the Bureau of Meteorology as well as data from dedicated river level sensors on the North Esk and South Esk rivers. The data is presented and made available to emergency response teams in real time to assist with alerting and decision making to protect assets and the community.

Public WIFI

The City of Launceston is a leader in deploying secure high-bandwidth public WIFI to the community supporting digital inclusion. The Public WIFI network has been continually developed and expanded since 2014. Initially focussed on covering the CBD, the network now covers many areas in the Northern Suburbs, Kings Meadows, and the Cataract Gorge Basin with over 50 hot spots. The project aims to provide high bandwidth access to the community in a safe and secure way. 

Launceston EV Charger Network

Launceston is committed to supporting the transition to electric vehicles with the deployment of Electric Vehicle Chargers in key locations. The City of Launceston installed the first fast charger in Tasmania in 2018 and has since deployed a further 6 chargers at locations including Lilydale, Riverbend Park and the Cataract Gorge Basin. Usage has increased most months, averaging 170 charges a month.

Launceston 3D City Model

Originally developed in 2016, the Launceston City 3D model was updated in 2022. The model was made up from 8686 images captured from advanced technology fitted to a helicopter with accuracy greater than 2cm. The 3D model can be used to assist with city planning tasks such as demonstrating proposed building developments from a 3D perspective.

Launceston City Heart Connectivity & Wayfinding Signage

The city wayfinding signage project was an initiative from Launceston City Heart City Deal commitment and includes an associated strategy. The aim is to identify, determine and implement a consistent standard of wayfinding, signage and associated treatments across Launceston city and to improve connectivity throughout the city out to the surrounding key precincts of the municipality.