World’s first lab for future city planning opens at UNSW

The University of NSW is now home to the “world’s first laboratory dedicated to improving collaboration and information-sharing among agencies responsible for planning and designing smarter, more liveable future cities.”

The City Analytics Lab was launched 2 May by Paul Fletcher, the federal minister for cities, and sits within the UNSW Built Environment department.

Chris Pettit, UNSW’s inaugural professor of urban science, said that the lab would facilitate the sharing of data between agencies and organizations that can be used to inform the planning of more liveable and productive cities.

“The Lab brings down the barriers for information sharing, engaging with data, models and simulations,” he said.

“This is a room that supports the multidisciplinary approach that is required when you are looking at cities. Cities are not run by one department, one agency or one group. We are trying to get people working together on the same page.”

UNSW has also begun offering a Master of City Analytics program in 2018, which will teach students to use data to unpick the issues affecting Australia’s increasingly crowded cities.

“By 2020 there will be 50 billion devices connected to the internet using around 44 zetabytes of data,” said Pettit.

“Much of this data can be harnessed to plan our cities better. With the global population predicted to reach 8.5 billion people by 2030 and 60 percent of those people forecast to live in cities, urban planners who can rapidly interpret this sort of digital information are already in high demand.“

The course will “equip students with the skills to analyse big data and open data, as well as develop a comprehensive understanding of geodesign, geocomputation, scientific programming, modeling and simulation, visualization and virtual reality.”

Related topics

More news

See all
Urban Forest tower in South Brisbane by Koichi Takada Architects. Brisbane tower sprouting 1,000 trees proposed

Koichi Takada Architects has designed a 30-storey tower for South Brisbane that will be home to five times more trees than the nearby park.

The Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo. Powerhouse Ultimo will remain open after government backflip

The NSW Government will keep the Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo open as well as build a new museum in Parramatta.

Preliminary concept render for the University of Melbourne's Fishermans Bend campus. University of Melbourne's $2b campus plan progresses

The University of Melbourne has progressed its plans for a $2 billion campus at Melbourne’s Fishermans Bend, after a stage one planning application was submitted …

Moreau Kusunoki and Genton's winning design for Powerhouse Parramatta. Green ban threatens new Powerhouse Parramatta

The construction union has placed a green ban on the demolition of two heritage buildings which could put the proposed Powerhouse Parramatta project in jeopardy.

Most read

Latest on site