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3D Visualisation
Sydney’s 3D Economy

Scott Hawken and Hoon Han

The focus of this project is to analyse economic heterogeneity within central Sydney using 3D GIS. Work is aimed at identifying clusters of specific industries in a 3D environment. The work will also produce scientific understanding of mixed-use environments and their relationship with different geographic districts and building types. The generation of heterogeneity metrics and the visualisation of industry clusters produce a fine grain picture of the knowledge based city lacking in both industry and government. Such a picture empowers the synthesis of real-estate innovations, macro-economic policies, and urban design codes to produce competitive global urban centres.


Hawken S; Hoon Han J, 2017, ‘Innovation districts and urban heterogeneity: 3D mapping of industry mix in downtown Sydney’, Journal of Urban Design, vol. 22, pp. 568-590

Modelling City Futures

Modelling City Futures
A Scenario Planning Approach

Christopher James Pettit

For the first time in the history of civilization there are now more people living in cities than rural localities. Significant population growth is intensifying this transition and placing pressure on our cities. For example in Australia the population is projected to almost double between 2010 and 2050. As part of a Smart Cities agenda there is an increasing need for data driven evidence computer planning tools to support communities, planners, policy-makers in envisioning sustainable, productive and resilient cities. Collaborative planning support system (PSS) tools such as the open source Online What if? (OWI) PSS tool can be used to explore a myriad of future possibilities. Planners and other key actors involved in shaping our cities can create, explore land suitability, land demand and land use allocation scenario for both municipalities and metropolitan areas. Professor Pettit has been leading the developing and application of the Online What if? PSS and has been working the Western Australia Department of Planning in exploring an envelope of future land use scenarios for Perth to Peel metropolitan region using the OWI PSS (Pettit et al. , 2013,2015). The use of scenario planning tools such as What if? offer exciting possibilities in assisting cities plan for their sustainable, productive and resilient future.


Pettit, C.J. Klosterman, R.E., Delaney, P., Whitehead, A, L., Kujala, H.,. Bromage, A., Nino-Ruiz, M. (2015). The Online What if? Planning Support System: A Land Suitability Application in Western Australia, Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy. Vol 8, Issue 2, pp 93-112.

Smart and Ubiquitous Cities

Smart and Ubiquitous Cities
Responsive Transport Environments

Matthias Hank Haeusler

This industry-based research project discusses and evaluates media architecture and media facades in the context of public transport embedded with digital technology (ICT technology). It is expensive, politically difficult and time consuming to build new train lines, bus routes and public transport systems. In contrast the efficiency of existing systems can be improved through better transport passenger information. This project proposes a prototype for the delivery of transport information via retrofitting transport stops with sensors, screens, computing components and ICT technologies that collect data within the public transport system, use the data to generate information about the system and feed them back to passengers via personal screens (smart phones) or public screens (media facades). Such feedback systemscreate info-rich interfaces to help make informed travel decisions. The findings of this investigation where communicated via the book ‘Infostructure – A transport research project’, (Freerange Press, 2012) and an edited book ‘Interchanging – Future Scenarios for Responsive Transport Infrastructure Design’ (Spurbuch, 2014).


Gardner, N., Haeusler, M. H., & Tomitsch, M. (2012). Infostructure: A Transport Research Project. Melbourne, Freerange Press.
Gardner, N. L., Haeusler, M. H., Mahar, B., & Tompson, T. (2014). Interchanging: Responsive transport infrastructures for twenty-first century urban digital culture, Baunach, Spurbuch Verlag.

Urban Climate Data and Models
Adaptation of the STEVE Tool to Sydney conditions

Marta Bescansa and Paul Osmond

The project aims to evaluate a software tool developed by the University of Singapore. The tool can estimate the outdoor thermal comfort (temperature and humidity) performance of new developments based on existing urban form, vegetation and weather data. The results feed into a broader research project with the Universities of South Australia and Melbourne. Stakeholders involved include Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne city councils and several industry partners around climate change and urban heat island effects. The ultimate objective of the project is to provide evidence-based guidance for policy makers, planners and designers towards sustainable urbanism in Australian urban contexts.


Jusuf, S.K, Wong, N.H., Tan, C.L., Tan, A.Y.K., (2011). STEVE Tool, Bridging the gap between urban climatology research and urban planning process. Proceedings for the International Conference on Sustainable Design and Construction, Kansas City, Missouri, 23-25 March 2011.

African Smart Cities
Developing Cities as Smart Cities
Rumbi Ebbefeld, Dr Scott Hawken, and Dr Sophia Maalsen

This project investigates the novel use of technology in five of Africa’s smartest cities including Nairobi, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Accra and Lagos and how it contributes to achieving better urban services despite a lack of conventional urban infrastructure. The project specifically explores the potential of technological leapfrogging to replace old or non-existent technology with current versions and how it can be integrated with the social context and stakeholders to place developing cities well on their way to becoming ‘smart’.
Hawken, S. and Ebbefeld, Emerging African Smart Cities: smart approaches for leapfrogging infrastructure deficits, In Preparation