Stretching from the Southgate shopping and dining complex to Queensbridge Square, Southbank Promenade is one of our city’s busiest spaces with more than 40,000* people visiting and passing through each day.

As we welcome more green transport activities in the city, with e-scooters and an additional 19km of protected bike lanes completed in the last two years, we are interested in learning how commuters, locals and visitors can all share the space safely in this popular city thoroughfare.

To understand the current experiences of Southbank Promenade, including its challenges and opportunities, we met with the local community and installed a sensor at a key location to gather information.

Insights from data collected over several months will be shared with the community in discussions on the future of the Promenade.

We are continuing to explore how data can help facilitate discussions and guide decisions in order to create great city experiences for everyone.

Learn more below and hit ‘Follow’ to stay up to date on the project.

*Statistic from prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data we've collected

This is a snapshot of the data we’re collecting at Southbank Promenade. It identifies patters about users, in particular, pedestrian, bicycle and scooters. Hover your cursor over the dashboard to see more information.


The sensor

News

Timeline

  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    Observed opportunities for data insights to inform plans for future shared promenade use

  • Timeline item 2 - complete

    Consultation with community groups

    July 2022

  • Timeline item 3 - complete

    Installation of sensor

    August to September 2022

  • Timeline item 4 - complete

    Data collection period

    September 2022

  • Timeline item 5 - complete

    Public dashboard published

    10 December 2023

  • Timeline item 6 - active

    Analysis and review

    Ongoing from 10 December 2023

The details

Through Participate Southbank community consultation in 2022, Southbank residents and Southbank Safety and Security Committee (SSSC) members shared their concerns on the high volume and range of transport modes using Southbank Promenade. Concerns were centred on how the speeds of cyclists and e-scooters could impact the safety of pedestrians.

To better understand the problem, we worked with the Southbank Residents Association (SRA) and installed a sensor to capture data at the intersection of Southbank Promenade, Southgate Avenue and Evan Walker Bridge. The sensor – Artificial Intelligence Road Survey or AIRS – uses Artificial Intelligence to analyse video footage. Artificial Intelligence helps differentiate the different modes of transport and converts their actions into X/Y coordinates.

Data collected helps us understand the flow of users, their speed and behaviours, and their peak travelling times. All footage is discarded after analysis.

Learn more about the sensor in ‘The technology’ or reach out to learn more at smart.cities@melbourne.vic.gov.au.

This project helps us understand:

  • the number of pedestrians, cyclists and e-scooters using this thoroughfare, particularly during peak transit times
  • the speed of travel through the area
  • the busiest times and days for each mode of transport

The data will also inform transport and open space planning.

We will collect and review the data over a period to understand if the sensor leads to valuable insights. We will share any insights from the collected data with the community.

Stay tuned and revisit this page as we continue to update it with project details.

Click ‘Follow’ to get notified about project updates. You can also reach out to us with any comments or questions at smart.cities@melbourne.vic.gov.au.

The technology

VivaCity Artificial Intelligence Road Survey sensor (AIRS) - a pedestrian and bike sensor that uses Artificial Intelligence to analyse video footage. The different modes of transport are converted into X/Y coordinates, which are numbers that represent specific locations on the Promenade. This helps us understand numbers of users, speeds of travel and peak times of activity. Learn more in ‘The Details’.

  • Types of transport modes (pedestrian, bicycle and e-scooter).
  • Transport mode counts and peak times.
  • Speed of movement.

Data collected helps us understand the flow of people along Southbank Promenade and ascertain the different transport modes used. For example, it tells us when the space is busiest, the speeds reached by different modes of transport (whether this presents a safety issue), and if there are opportunities to improve or adapt movement through the area.

The VivaCity AIRS sensor will use 4G networks to send data. The data is sent to City of Melbourne’s data lake in AWS Australia.

The data will be used by City of Melbourne to understand how users are currently moving through Southbank Promenade, and to provide insights into the opportunities and impacts of this usage. The data will be shared with the community soon.

No video footage captured by the AIRS sensor is stored or transmitted. The only data that is stored and transmitted is X/Y coordinates created from on-site analysis of the footage. This data is stored permanently for future analysis and the video footage is discarded once analysed.

Emerging Technology Testbed

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