World’s first lab for planning future cities to open at UNSW Sydney

The City Analytics Lab supports collaborative decision-making across agencies in a dedicated space for smart city planning and design.

Media is invited to attend the opening of UNSW Sydney’s City Analytics Lab, 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 Honourable Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, will formally open the City Analytics Lab at 9:30 am on Wednesday 2 May.

Housed within UNSW Built Environment, the City Analytics Lab uses interactive technology, big data, visualisation, virtual reality and planning models to support an interdisciplinary approach to decision-making for city planning and policy-making. The lab is designed to help government and industry understand these technologies and new approaches to inform the planning of more liveable, productive, sustainable and resilient cities.

Professor Christopher Pettit, chair of Urban Science in the Built Environment Faculty at UNSW, said traditional technology such as websites and file sharing cause silos between agencies that impede collaboration and group decision-making. At the City Analytics Lab, digital artefacts in the form of data and models are easily viewed and shared in real-time.

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

The City Analytics Lab features an interactive collaboration space that gives policymakers, government officials, communities and industry leaders the opportunity to explore possible outcomes of planning decisions on factors such as transportation, education, health and justice. It also employs virtual reality and augmented reality technology that provide realistic and dynamic experiences.

Minister Fletcher said he commended UNSW for its important work in making Australian cities smarter and more liveable through the City Analytics Lab.

“This is an important focus for the Turnbull Government as we roll out our $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, through which we are working with UNSW and other organisations including local councils, to make our cities better places to live using data and technology.”

WHAT: Opening of City Analytics Lab, UNSW Built Environment
WHEN: 9:30 – 11 am, Wednesday 2 May 2018
WHERE: Built Environment, Australia West Wing of the Red Centre,
Kensington Campus, UNSW Sydney
WHO: The Honourable Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities will formally open the City Analytics Lab.

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