Urban productivity and affordable rental housing supply in Australian cities and regions

Enquiry led by Prof Nicole Gurran, Prof Robyn Dowling et al.

Affordable housing implications and opportunities of smart cities and innovation economies

Enquiry led by Prof Robyn Dowling with Dr Tooran Alizadeh, Dr Sophia Maalsen, Ms Catherine Gilbert, and Prof Peter Phibbs.

Australian Federal Governement Smart Cities and Suburbs Program
Participatory Local Government; Enabling Community participation for Logan and Canada Bay

Dr Tooran Alizadeh, Prof Robyn Dowling, Dr Martin Tomitsch, Dr Somwrita Sarkar, Dr Luke Hespanhol

This project, led by Tooran Alizadeh, develops new algorithms and tools to capture citizens’ voices and better inform local government decision making. It will investigate crowdsourcing channels (such as twitter, facebook and other online channels), and their potential for collecting citizen’s opinions and attitudes on major urban development and infrastructure projects. It investigates active and passive crowdsourcing channels and their potentials for reaching out to citizens and collecting their opinions and attitudes on major urban development and infrastructure projects. A range of online sources will be used to source data including social media, public comments on relevant online media releases and news articles. The project will produce a flexible digital platform that will enable local governments to capture and visualise citizens’ voices. Using machine learning, the platform will be able to predict citizens’ responses to urban interventions before their completion. This project is run under the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program funded by the Department of InfrastructureIndustry, Innovation and Science.

Henry Halloran Trust: Blue Sky Project
Resident-led Masterplanning in Sydney: Community Responses to the Proposed Redevelopment of Waterloo

Prof Michael Darcy, Dr Sophia Maalsen, Dr Dallas Rogers, Dr Marilu Melol, Dr Jenna Condie, Mr Alistair Sisson, Ms Pratichi Chatterjee, Mr Laura Wynne, Mr Joel Sherwood-Spring

This project will evaluate the resident-led masterplanning process underway for the Waterloo public housing estate. Its central research questions address the HHT priority theme of ‘engagement infrastructure’, with implications for state- and resident-led community engagement. The project’s innovative methodology involves collation and cross-analysis of data that has already been collected, or is being collected, by the investigators. The project will not involve collecting new data from this over-researched community, but rather will involve this community in the analysis. The project investigators include 3 ECRs and 3 PhD students; as such, the project is also one of ECR capacity building.

Human Health and Social Impacts Node of the NSW Adaptation Research Hub Climate Change, housing and Health:
A Scoping study on intersections between vulnerability, housing tenure, and adaptation responses to extreme heat.

Professor Nicole Gurran, Tess Lea, Ollie Jay
Project aims:
-Scope the extent to which unaffordable, insecure or marginal forms of housing exacerbate existing climate related vulnerability.
-Identify particular risks associated with specific dwelling types occupied by high need groups in low cost social, private, rental and marginal forms of housing tenure.
-Identify the magnitude of physiological heat strain experienced by householders against this housing typology during laboratory simulated extreme heat events.
-Assess the efficacy of low cost cooling technologies for mitigating physiological heat strain during simulated extreme heat events. -Develop suggested communication strategies to raise awareness about adaptation options.
-Develop a wider range of policy measures which might be introduced to reduce housing and health related risks arising from climate change, in dialogue with housing and health professionals.

Organising the 21st Century City: An International Comparison of Urban Alliances as Citizen Engagement

Assoc Prof Kurt Iveson, Prof John Keane, Dr Madeleine Pill, Dr Adrienne Keane, Prof Helga Leitner, Assoc Prof Mark Davidson, Prof Jane Wills, Prof Romand Coles, Prof Leo Penta

In a growing number of cities, citizens are channeling frustration with existing citizen engagement processes into the creation of urban alliances that bring together diverse civil society actors to articulate and pursue common interests. The intention of such alliances is to enable citizens to play a proactive role in the shaping of their cities, as an alternative to the reactive role they are often ascribed in existing governance and planning frameworks. This will be the first international comparative study of these alliances. Through desk-based mapping and qualitative case studies, the project will examine their global extent, their different forms and activities, their relationship to existing forms of citizen participation in existing structures of urban governance and planning, and their effectiveness as infrastructures for citizen engagement and empowerment. The research will contribute to scholarly understanding of citizen participation in urban governance and planning. It will also make significant practical contributions to the efforts of citizens seeking to build new infrastructures for participating in urban governance, and it will also aid the efforts of those working in planning agencies who are seeking more genuine citizen participation.

Australian Coastal Councils Association Inc
Planning responses to online short-term holiday rental platforms (2017-2018)

Inquiry Leader, Professor Nicole Gurran

This inquiry aims to identify appropriate planning responses to the impacts of online platforms short term holiday rental accomodation in Coastal Australia.

Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute National Research Program (AHURI)
Inquiry into increasing affordable housing supply: evidence-based principles and strategies for Australian policy and practice
$ 351,000

Inquiry Leader, Professor Nicole Gurran

This Inquiry examines efforts to increase affordable housing supply, focusing on government-industry partnerships, planning levers and 'best practice' housing projects. Informed by international and local practice, it identifies principles and policy options for different market contexts and will develop a model for estimating affordability outcomes for various policy scenarios in different market contexts.

Urban Ecology Renewal Investigation Project
Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW)

Inquiry Leader: Dr Peter Davies, Linda Corkery, David Nipperess, Paul Osmond, Guy Barnett, Dr Adrienne Keane, Caragh Threlfall, Melanie Bishop, Sara Wilkinson, Brenda Lin, Grant Hose, Adam J. Stow

The urban ecology renewal investigation project provided in-depth research into ways to improve biodiversity outcomes for major cities in NSW including Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle.
Project website

Henry Halloran Trust, Research Incubator
Urban Housing Lab@Sydney: Predictive analytics and policy platform for Sydney’s housing market

Prof Nicole Gurran, Dr Somwrita Sarkar, Dr Jennifer Kent

Housing is a central component of urban infrastructure, yet provision of appropriate and affordable housing near transport and jobs remains a key challenge. Addressing this challenge depends on better understanding the mechanics of the housing market and how policy interventions – like urban planning – might enhance housing outcomes. Building on the big-data capacity of UrbanLab@Sydney, this Incubator constructs a research platform for examining housing market dynamics in Sydney and potential levers for change. Research fostered within the Incubator will connect to wider scholarship on planning, infrastructure, the market and big-data analytics while distilling key implications for urban policy and practice.
Project website: