Tracking the movement of pedestrians and vehicles to help plan the massive expansion of Liverpool CBD is the latest test for SMART’s Digital Living Lab.

The project, launched on Thursday, will use smartphones and cutting-edge traffic-counting technology developed by SMART to track patterns of movement in an effort to better plan cities and build infrastructure where it is most needed.

Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, Paul Fletcher, joined Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller and SMART chief operating officer Tania Brown to launch the scheme.

“At SMART we believe in community driven research that is technology enabled, allowing us to turn data into knowledge and to improve liveability for residents,” Ms Brown said at the launch.

“Data will be collected from smart devices as well as non-intrusive camera-counting technology, which uses machine learning, to measure both pedestrian and vehicles at key locations around the CBD in real time.”

The Smart Pedestrians Project is a partnership between SMART, Liverpool City Council and the IT firm, Meshed and uses LoRaWAN technology similar to the network already in place around Wollongong.

The $240,000 project is expected to be complete by early next year, and may pave the way for similar projects in cities across Australia.