#BackyardExperiment, an eight-day activation of Garema Place, Canberra, which took place in October 2016, has won Street Furniture Australia an award in the Built Environment category at the Australian Smart Cities Awards.

Held in October 2018, the inaugural awards program recognises leadership, best practice and action to advance the smart cities movement. Projects are evaluated by a seven-person jury chaired by David Singleton AM. The winners were announced at Smart Cities Week in Sydney, organised by the Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand.

Street Furniture Australia’s #BackyardExperiment was a small project with a big impact – by adopting a people-first approach and quantifying the impact of design, the method of activation became an international case study.

One of Australia’s first smart city projects, #BackyardExperiment was a collaboration with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), with support from the ACT government. The park was designed by the multi-award winning firm Context.

The judges described the #BackyardExperiment project as a “partnership driven and replicable approach to smart cities” that quantifies the impact of street activation.

The project was initiated and jointly led by Street Furniture Australia and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects as part of the 2016 International Festival of Landscape Architecture: Not in my Backyard. While the park design was by Context, Street Furniture Australia was responsible for research, white paper and film.

Street Furniture Australia also acknowledges the generous contributions to #BackyardExperiment from more than 15 collaborating partners: WE-EF LIGHTING, ACT Lighting Society, Integral Lighting and Affinity Electrical Technologies, Lawn Solutions Australia, Turf Australia, Horticulture Innovation Australia, Complete Turf and Landscaping, Back2front Landscapes, ACT Government Libraries, The #BackyardExperiment Knitters Group, King O’Malley’s Pub for a night of storage, and the amazing community and businesses at Garema Place, Canberra.