Future Cities Governance

Research into engaging citizens in the design and management of the urban environment.

Our goal is to empower citizens and urban policy makers with new data and analysis with the overall aim of improving governance and removing barriers to enable transition to smart cities.

This research program aims to engage citizens in the design and management of the urban environment. We will use digital technologies to create cities that raise the standard of living for all, while promoting sustainability and reducing human impact on the environment. This program is organised around three intersecting streams: Sustainable Cities, Healthy Cities, and Equitable Cities; each drawing from the knowledge and insights of one another and informing our research projects below.

Research projects

Go to The Envision Scenario Planner tool  page The Envision Scenario Planner tool

Developing a web-based system to sketch planning redevelopment options for identified renewal precincts.

Go to The Building Quality Passport page The Building Quality Passport

Using mobile learning and gamification to develop a learning platform for building practitioners.

Go to Renewable energy retrofitting and energy poverty page Renewable energy retrofitting and energy poverty

Assessing the influence of photovoltaic installation and smart controls on household energy use and costs in low-income households.

Go to Knowledge exchange and linked open data platforms  page Knowledge exchange and linked open data platforms

Developing global knowledge exchange, data-sharing and policy analysis platforms.

Current priorities

Our research priority is to offer alternatives to top-down decision-making around urban development decisions. We aim to do this by creating new digitally empowered design and social-enquiry mechanisms, bringing together professional expertise with (non-expert) end-user perspectives.

We are interested in ways urban data, mobile and the Internet of Things can influence:

  • urban planning regulations and design under uncertainty
  • offer new modes of community engagement
  • provide platforms for internet-enabled multi-stakeholder communication
  • system performance monitoring and reporting
  • support for civic leadership, social entrepreneurship, and corporate social responsibility.

We draw on transdisciplinary expertise across Swinburne to apply our research capabilities in:

  • city information modelling
  • precinct information modelling
  • building information modelling
  • smart citizen data
  • urban economics
  • urban sociology
  • geo-spatial analysis
  • baseline, benchmarking and trend analysis
  • indicator sets and common metrics

Through these capabilities we strive to address the following grand challenges:

  • Are there new forms of urban governance that can engage people more effectively?
  • How could democratic institutions enable to more effective urban governance?
  • Are there ways of improving conversations between citizens and experts in different fields?
  • What new methods of accountability could provide feedback to improve urban governance?
  • How could urban governance deal with questions of equity?

Contact the Smart Cities Research Institute

There are many ways to engage with us. If your organisation is dealing with a complex problem, then get in touch to discuss how we can work together to provide solutions.

Call +61 (03) 9214 5177