Darwin’s Smart City Plan

In the Northern Territory, the City of Darwin is a gateway to Asia for Australia. The only tropical city of the country, with deeply rooted ancient culture but with a young and dynamic look. Darwin plays a strategically important role in the economic development of Australia, due to its close proximity to Southeast Asian countries.

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With urbanization growing and the city’s unprecedented demands are being placed at a local level, to the governments. Therefore, governments are looking for ways to things in a smarter way, more with less. They are seeking for opportunities to accelerate the economic development. In other words, provide a platform for small businesses, young entrepreneurs to thrive.

Darwin’s traditional landowners, the Larrakia people, are prominent and active members of the local community. From facing bombing during the WWII, to a cyclone in 1974, the city has overcome many challenges.

In terms of the business City of Darwin, is the main service center for a wide range of industries headed by mining, offshore oil and gas production, pastoralism, tourism and tropical horticulture. And the port of Darwin, outlet for Australia’s live cattle export trade into South East Asia. Darwin also attracts tourists from all over the world,  looking to experience its outdoor tropical lifestyle.


No city is perfect, hence, Darwin has its own challenges.

The city’s population growth has slowed down over the years. The economy’s nature being boom and bust, as it depends on the resources,causes a problem attracting residents into the city.

And Darwin’s weather condition poses as another challenge. A hot and humid climate, 319 days of the year where the temperature exceeds 30 degrees Celsius. The impact of Tropical Cyclone Marcus in March 2018 has reduced large numbers of the city’s shade trees, exacerbating the impacts of the urban heat island effect on Darwin’s already hot and humid climate.
Moreover, the government of the city has to deal with anti-social behavior.

Darwin City Dealopen green spaces

A vibrant and livable city centre will attract new residents, students and businesses to Darwin, and help to encourage those who do come put down roots and stay for the long term. The government is looking forward to revitalizing the city. An iconic education and civic precinct, redevelopment of State Square and a new Art Gallery are supporting the catalyst. To reduce the urban heat island effect, cool and green innovations according to the tropical climate are designed.

  • Iconic Education and Civic Precinct

    A new Charles Darwin University, along with accommodation and university administration is coming up in the city center, in order to create seamless student experience, attracting more international students and boosting Darwin’s competitiveness in the education sector. This will not only increase vibrancy in the city, but also raise the retail activity.

  • Redeveloping the City Square

    A redevelopment of the city, in order to make the city more livable and increasing space for outdoor, events and festivals.
    In order to encourage people to walk through the city, linger longer and experience the hospitality, history and unique character of Darwin, the city square will be revitalized.
    Landscape and cooling reflection pools will replace bitumen carparks, to reduce heat generation and provide a vibrant, tropical, green open space for public gatherings and events, decreasing the urban heat island effect.
    The Northern Territory Government is using these heat mitigation technologies
    to guide innovative cooling and greening infrastructure projects in the city
    center to cool Darwin’s streetscapes.

  • The connection between people and places

    In order to celebrate the Larrakia culture, a connection between the place and culture will be enhanced. Activation of Darwin’s harbour foreshore unlocking the potential of dormant sites in Darwin, such as the Stokes Hill ‘Tank Farm’, to better activate the harbour foreshore.
    A new City Activation and Promotion Entity will establish a calendar for the events and festivals happening in and around the city. The Entity will also enhance the tourist experience.

The collaboration between governments, businesses and the community to make this 10-year plan is necessary. The City Deal Plan is to revitalize the vision of a vibrant, connected, tropical, and attractive Darwin. 

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Aakrati Akar
Aakrati Akar
Aakrati is an architectural student, from Jaipur. Her curious minds drives her into researching about various topics and gain knowledge. Her belief in the power of words and writing led her to the field of architectural journalism.

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