Former Arup director David Singleton has been appointed chair of the Smart Cities Research Institute at Swinburne University.

Mr Singleton currently holds several non-executive director roles including being a member of Swinburne’s board, a director and chair of Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia and a member of the Future Business Council.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Smart Cities Research Institute,” Mr Singleton said.

“As smart cities around the world continue to evolve, we are seeing a greater understanding of the concept.

“It’s not just about using clever technology to make a city more liveable and adaptable, it’s also about world class infrastructure, living infrastructure and buildings and capturing data to improve each person’s experience.”

Swinburne deputy vice-chancellor of research and development Professor Aleksandar Subic welcomed Mr Singleton to the role.

“We are pleased to have David lead the industry advisory board of our new Smart Cities Research Institute. The Institute aims to tackle grand challenges facing our cities by collaborating actively with industry, business and community,” Professor Subic said.

The institute will look at ways to make cities accessible to their inhabitants, reduce congestion and enhance economic productivity, decarbonise urban travel and improve human health.

The concept of smart cities was about more than technology, however, Mr Singleton said.

“There has to be an end game and the human context must be considered,” he said.

“A smart city is as much about the people as it is about technology, and the Smart Cities Institute is an exciting step in the smart cities dialogue to ensure we are on the right path to ensure progress is worthwhile and effective.”

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