This unit examines cities using digital data, information, knowledge and models to understand trends and complexities in order to inform the evaluation and formulation of sustainable and liveable urban futures. Students explore cognitive, technical and creative skills to evaluate complex urban concepts, analyse and synthesise complex information, and apply established and emerging theories of cities. The unit draws from a range of ‘big data’ sources including geographic and spatial data; government data including census and open data; social media data and sensor data to develop skills for accessing, processes, visualising and synthesising this data to inform urban policy and design decision making.


ARC70005 Urban Informatics and Modelling


Assumed Knowledge
Proficiency in citation management software such as Endnote or Mendeley.

Teaching periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 1
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Develop and apply planning knowledge to identify problems, devise ways to investigate and solve these problems drawing on research-based evidence
  • Use relevant technical tools for data collection, analysis and mapping, and use quantitative analysis methods including spatial mapping to analyse data and to communicate its relevance and any shortcomings of findings
  • Gather qualitative and quantitative data relevant to different planning circumstances including global trends and emerging issues, with knowledge of the main sources of information about communities, including census, survey data, and spatial data
  • Interpret sustainable development, ecological systems, resilience and issues including climate change
  • Recognise social and cultural diversity and the capacity to assess the equity, health and social inclusion aspects of urban and regional plans and practices
  • Analyse transport, land use and the principles of transport planning and modelling to critique plans and design proposals, according to sustainable transport planning principles
  • Develop knowledge-capture approaches and related technical skills

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
3.00 12 weeks 36
Specified Activities
Group Meetings
1.50 12 weeks 18
Unspecified Activities
Independent Learning
8.00 12 weeks 96


Type Task Weighting ULO's
Class ExercisesIndividual 25% 2,3,4,5,6 
How-To GuideIndividual 30% 1,2,3,7 
Research ProjectGroup 45% 1,2,3,4,5 


  • Exploration of methods of data collection, cleaning and translation using established and emerging technologies
  • Moving between georeferenced space and both two-dimensional and three-dimensional cartesian space
  • Visualisation of data using a range technology including geographic information systems and 3D modelling tools
  • Integration of data and analytics into the urban analysis and design process
  • Exploration of the potential for cross disciplinary technology to urban design problems
  • Development of knowledge-capture approaches and technical skills
  • Presentation of modelling and analysis concepts and processes

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.