By Lauren Ferrone
Steve Ready is proving you’re never too old to change the future of Adelaide – or play with LEGO.
As member of the State’s largest LEGO club Southern Bricks Lego User Group, Steve is part of a new project which involved building a LEGO model of North Terrace to demonstrate Adelaide as a smart city.
Constructed by Southern Bricks Lego User Group, the project includes miniature scale models of SAHMRI, the North Terrace tram stop, Adelaide Convention Centre, Parliament House, Adelaide Oval, and other iconic buildings on the major CBD terrace.
With built-in and interactive technology by the University of Adelaide and global Adelaide-based company Buddy, the LEGO model demonstrates smart city technologies that may improve the quality of life for residents.
Some of the technologies which feature in the LEGO model include: street lighting with built-in CCTV and Wi-Fi hotspots; sensors to better direct commuters to vacant parking spaces and reduce traffic congestion; and environmental improvements through renewable energy and the monitoring of power and natural resources.
“The model will be a talking point to engage South Australians about the future and say: ‘Look, this is what we’re planning for the future of Adelaide’,” Steve says.
“Some of the plans are really cool. I didn’t know much about them before we started this project so it has been quite eye-opening,” he adds.
Steve and some of his fellow Southern Bricks Lego User Group members used more than 30,000 LEGO bricks to construct the North Terrace LEGO model over 300 hours.
“Ideally a project of this scale would generally take about three to six months to complete, but we managed to do it in about six weeks,” Steve says.
“LEGO has an universal appeal. We’re finding it’s a unique community that a lot of people didn’t realise existed… in fact, many adults actually love LEGO and I guess we’re giving each other permission to keep playing with these kids toys,” he laughs.
The project, a collaboration between Adelaide City Council and the Department of State Development, forms part of Open State – a 10 day festival of innovation to address the complex challenges of the future.
Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese says the project showcases Adelaide’s smart city ambitions and the opportunities for innovative South Australian entrepreneurs and businesses.
“While miniature, these toy brick buildings show how Adelaide can be the world’s best future city and embrace technology to improve the lives of those who live and work within the city,” he says.
“Adelaide is fast becoming a living laboratory of a range of smart city ideas. Concepts that can be proven here can be applied to cities all around the world.”
The North Terrace LEGO model, now on display at Adelaide Smart City Studio, will also feature at an interactive play and LEGO model exhibition called Inside the Brick at Adelaide Showground next Friday (November 4).