Sydney as a Smart City

  • 2019

  • Digital
    Web Design and Development

Designed By:

  • Smash Delta

Commissioned By:

Smash Delta

Designed In:


The market in Australia for data-driven change is ‘frothy’, ‘salesy’ and ‘slimy’. Smash Delta wants to represent the opposite – so we created an interactive microcosm of what we’re about: using data in a meaningful way, for good. We combined our advanced analytics and design capabilities to educate and empower users.

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  • Our challenge was to create a public work that would showcase our capabilities and help launch our brand. The deliverable needed to embody our core values at Smash Delta: education, empowerment, and harnessing open data and analytics for good. The work had to resonate with our core brand essence of “Prove It” and reflect our cross disciplinary expertise in strategy consulting, science, and design. Additionally, the design had to be accessible and understandable by the public while also resonating with government and major organisation executives — our main clients.

  • Our solution, Sydney as a Smart City, is a self commissioned piece of research, examining two defining factors of urban life: travel time to work, and housing affordability. At the core of our solution is a rigorously constructed data set utilising open sources (science), brought to life by an informative narrative (strategy), alongside an interactive and animated data visualisation (design). By selecting the web as a medium, and ensuring the information is presented in both an approachable yet powerful way, the research is true to our values and positioned for both commercial and social impact.

  • The primary purpose of this design was to help Smash Delta land client projects; that is, to have a commercial impact. This is discussed thoroughly in the Commerciality section below. Equally important was that, from the beginning, we stand by our values. By democratising our research through the web, our solution is positioned for positive social impact. Sydney as a Smart City is a public example of what is possible with open data, of how such data can be used to make smarter cities, and how complex data can be presented in approachable and informative ways.

  • As this project was designed to launch our brand, it is important to understand who we are from a design perspective. Smash Delta is a data strategy firm working with government and major organisations to develop and embed analytics and AI capabilities. In the strategy consulting industry, design has traditionally been an afterthought, performed externally, or inside isolated teams. However, at Smash Delta we believe it to be an essential component in driving meaningful change within an organisation. It is critical in enhancing understanding, sparking enthusiasm and generating momentum on projects that are often complex and highly technical. As a result, Smash Delta is built on three core disciplines: strategy consulting, data science, and design.