Presented by the Smart Cities Research Institute

We tend to simplify our view of cities as collections of objects (buildings, parks etc.), connected by transportation, services and communications networks (infrastructure). 

When cities are viewed as systems, however, a completely different perspective can emerge through the deeper analysis that is made possible: urban analytics. 

Designers, enabled to map the city as a set of both discrete and interacting dynamics, can read the city differently, avoiding routine mistakes. Tomorrow’s urban and regional development requires a vastly wider pool of talent coming together in new ways with new platforms to unpack complex systems.

Join us for a panel session that calls on an urban designer with an interest in complex adaptive systems, a theoretical physicist who researches sustainability transitions and societal transformations, and a mechanical engineer with specialist knowledge of fluid dynamics to consider the question: does viewing the city as a complex system more effectively facilitate a common understanding with which to scaffold a different type of conversation around sustainable urbanisation.


Justyna Karakiewicz researches urban design and architecture through design in practice globally and by publication, including numerous design awards and an extensive record of exhibitions. Justyna is currently Professor in Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Melbourne’s School of Design (MSD).

Fjalar de Haan is a transitionist. He develops theory and other tools for understanding sustainability transitions and societal transformations. Fjalar works at Deakin University as Senior Research Fellow in the School of Life & Environmental Sciences (Centre for Integrative Ecology, Planet A Lab)

Richard Manasseh is a mechanical engineer with specialist knowledge of fluid dynamics.  At a fundamental level, Professor Manasseh’s research focuses on wave modes and oscillators in fluids and their interactions. Richard is Professor of Fluid Dynamics at Swinburne University of Technology’s School of Engineering and is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers.

Mark Burry is the Founding Director for Swinburne University of Technology’s ‘Smart Cities Research Institute. His role is to lead the development of a whole-of-university research approach to helping ensure that our future cities anticipate and meet the needs of all – smart citizens actively participating in the design of their smart cities and regions.

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