A new project that will help urban planners and decision makers to shape transport, health policy, housing and employment to improve the liveability of Melbourne was launched at the University of Melbourne.  

Professor Abbas Rajabifard, Director of the project and Head of the Department of Infrastructure Engineering said the information gathered and the tools developed offered policy-makers relevant information and functions that can support decision making and planning forecasting.

“The results of this project will change the way we plan our future cities and spaces,” said Professor Rajabifard.

“The project makes it easier for experts from a range of backgrounds search new and existing data on planning initiatives more quickly and easily than ever before.”

The project involved four faculties and schools from across the University of Melbourne (School of Engineering, Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning, McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing and Department of General Practice).

The initiative opens up research possibilities by allowing researchers and practitioners across Australia to access more than 100 datasets, now established as the Victorian Data Hub and available via the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN) portal.

Researchers, planners and policy makers will have access to data and tools that will allow them to make evidence-informed decisions for one of Australia’s fastest-growing and expanding areas: North and West Metropolitan Melbourne.

“Our four demonstrators were walkability, employment, housing and health, which together have provided a holistic view to support planning,” he said. “The inter-connectedness of the information is vital and allows us to deal with issues of space, place and liveability.” Professor Rajabifard said.

To showcase the outcomes and the project tools, a book will also be launched as part of the event.

The project is supported by the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN) and the Australian National Data Service (ANDS in partnership with 20 state and local government departments and agencies.

 It is co-ordinated and managed through the Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructure and Land Administration (CSDILA) in the Department of Infrastructure Engineering.