The local government in Sydney has focused on multiple programs that use and promote open data, such as the Sydney Data Hub, Cities for Digital Rights, and various Australian smart city initiatives. A national four-year program has been designed to improve the ‘liveability’ of Australian cities and suburbs using technology and open data. A key focus of Australian smart cities is on harnessing open data through developing data infrastructure. That is, encouraging organisations to put their data in the public domain for others to use.
In Australia, the development of smart cities and digitisation is directly related to the Agenda of 2030 and the sustainable development goals. Open data on the environment in cities can also improve monitoring and control over the quality of air and water. The goal is to make cities in Australia more liveable and prosperous.
There is an increasing need for digital literacy to understand the planning of smart cities and the digitisation of governments. Geographical Information System (GIS) educational material is already being used in classes of the New University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia. GIS technologies are used in educational programs for city planning, design, and decision-making, especially in the teaching courses like city analytics, city planning, landscape architecture, and urban design and development. A number of classes have also been structured around the Sydney open government data portal. The classes are focused on developing skills in spatial thinking and GIS software.