Machine learning, Network Science, and Big Urban Data

Work within this thematic cluster seeks to harvest new and existing data on Sydney’s urban processes and housing as to better inform policy analysis and to experiment with opportunities for independent, real time sources of data able to inform more responsive policy analysis and design. Current projects focus on analysing existing sources of urban policy, planning, and housing data in new ways through modelling, visualisation and predictive analytical techniques; and on garnering new data sources about the housing market through untapped sources (such as social media and geo-coded communications).

This experimental work is supporting the other research areas within Urban Housing Lab@Sydney. It seeks to push the methodological interface between traditional econometric methods and statistics, and machine learning.

The Residential Real Estate Market

Research in this thematic area investigates housing market characteristics, trends and drivers, with empirical research focused on the Sydney housing market. Current projects investigate real estate investors, foreign investment in Sydney; the ways in which social and print media generate information about the housing market and potentially influence housing market sentiment; and, the housing preferences and aspirations of particular sub-groups with specific demographics in the city, for example, recent University graduates. Research in this area is also uncovering and monitoring trends in the informal housing market (share accommodation, subletting etc).

Urban mobility, Health, and Urban Form

This theme includes research on changing forms of transport and personal mobility, and the relationship between urban form (particularly the density and location of homes and jobs), transportation, and population health. Current research projects underway within the Incubator include changing patterns of private car use, the uptake of alternative transport modes, the links between transport disadvantage, the built environment and health, and the way health is included in systems of planning the built environment.

Research in this area is also examining new forms of “collaborative consumption” arising as part of the so-called “share economy” (particularly approaches to shared transportation, housing, and offices) for urban mobility and locational decisions in the future, as well as wider environmental health effects.

Urban Policy, Housing and Planning

Research within this thematic cluster examines the ways in which urban policy settings, infrastructure investment decisions, and the planning system, influence the housing market. Current research projects underway within the Incubator examine urban policy, planning, and housing systems in international contexts; the political dimensions of urban housing and housing policy; how the performance of the planning system is measured; the ways in which planning systems constrain or enable new housing supply; and, planning approaches to support affordable housing development.

The Australian Urban Land Use Planning Policy Survey

Data from the AULUPP Survey is supporting a range of research in the lab’s urban policy, housing and planning research area. It has helped to identify leading practice examples; to provide evidence to guide future policy development in planning for affordable housing; and, has enabled relationships between planning policy settings and housing development outcomes to be quantitatively explored.

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