The School of Architecture and Built Environment is excited to announce the establishment of the Liveable + Smart Cities Research Lab. Driven by the need for a research hub that will focus on key themes of applied research for understanding and providing solutions in a rapidly urbanised world, the vision of the Research Lab is to investigate, using a holistic interdisciplinary research framework, real problems in the face of our global societies’ biggest issues of the 21st century — rapid urbanisation and the decline of rural areas.

With over half of the world’s population now living in urban areas, cities consume 75% of the world’s natural resources, 80% of the global energy supply and produce approximately 75% of the global carbon emissions; the problem is real. What is more concerning is that city liveability, and the wellbeing of residents and the quality of our healthy environments in our cities are declining.

“Liveability is a key expertise of the School of Architecture and Built Environment for which we have the capability to provide innovative and ground breaking applied research knowledge, using our fundamental Integral Design Futures (IDF) Framework,” Dr Roös says, Centre Leader for the Research Lab.

The Liveable + Smart Cities Research Lab also provides the opportunity for collaboration across Schools, Faculties, and Institutes of Deakin, due to the multi-disciplinary nature of research enveloped in the liveable and smart city agenda.

Led by Dr Roös, the Research Lab is currently involved with preparing grant bids for the Smart Cities & Suburbs Round 2 grant, where Deakin is partnering with the City of Melton to develop a digital twin city model, supporting a dynamic scenario planning model. The LIVE+SMART Research Lab is also part of the Future Cities CRC grant application, led by UNSW. Other initiatives underway is the Liveable + Smart Cities of the West project, where the six councils of Melbourne’s West are considering our proposed Liveable + Smart Cities Scenario Planning Model that will help decision makers to make informed decisions in advance in a dynamic scenario planning environment backed by robust data analytics.

“I think the establishment of the Research Lab is one of our greatest opportunities in the School. It offers a major venue across Deakin to maximise our research expertise in a multidisciplinary, and holistic way to leverage the Australian government’s agenda in Smart Cities. It is also not just about smart technology, the Research Lab is fundamentally about the needs for liveability and wellbeing,” Dr Roös concluded.