For the second time in recent years, Sydney has ranked as the 18th smartest city in the world against 141 other cities in the 2023 Smart City Index. This makes Sydney one of the ideal cities to live in in the world! However, despite the accolades, this ranking also brings its own unique set of challenges and need for innovation, and what does it take to crack the top 10?

Congratulations to challenge winner, Alannah Alam from Meriden School, who designed an innovative pothole detection system.

The challenge:

Design a structure or new technology for the Sydney CBD that will improve Sydney's ranking in the ‘smart’ stakes. Your design will need to take into consideration one or more of the smart city indicators outlined below, and your proposal can be as big or as small as you like! Some examples include:

  • An efficient and environmentally friendly energy management technology.
  • An innovative form of transportation or public transport infrastructure.
  • A building that uses digital-based automatic procedures to be environmentally friendly and reduce energy usage.
  • Apply technologies available through the Internet of Things (IoT) to design a solution to improve waste management.

Smart city indicators:

  • Smart government

  • Smart economy

  • Smart environment

  • Smart living

  • Smart mobility

  • Smart people

Learn more about the smart city indicators.


Getty Images/iStockphoto

When thinking about your design, consider the following:

  • Which smart city indicator is currently not being maximised to its full potential in Sydney?
  • What resources and/or technologies are available for your design?
  • What team of engineers would be required to implement your design?
  • How much will your design cost?


Due 11:59pm, Sunday, 12 November 2023. Email your submission to with the Title “Young Women in Engineering Smart Cities Challenge” and your name, school, and year stage.

In your submission, please make sure you include the following:

  • A brief introduction about yourself and the aim(s) of your design proposal
  • Your design proposal
  • The resources required to implement your design proposal.
  • Images, prototypes, models, sketches, videos etc of your design proposal.
  • The team of engineers required to implement your proposal e.g., biomedical, civil, mechanical, software etc.
  • OPTIONAL: Are there currently any other designs, existing technologies or existing infrastructure that is similar to your proposal or has similar goals?


· 2–6-page PDF document; or

· 2-5-minute video; or

· A2 poster **

If there is an additional format you think would work better for your proposal, please run it by the Young Women in Engineering Club team first by emailing

**Note: when doing a poster, try to limit the amount of text and preference diagrams you use to make it easy for the reader.

Need some inspiration? Check out these links:

4 Commonly Used Smart City Technologies

A Smart City for Smart Communities - Technology Explained

Secure, sustainable smart cities and the IoT

What does living in a ‘Smart City’ mean

Melbourne as a smart city

How to film a video