As cities become the most popular places for people to live, they face a multitude of challenges. Problems of urban congestion, housing affordability, infrastructure financing, social isolation, scarce water and energy resources, environmental sustainability and effective governance require immediate attention. However, in Australia there is very limited urban research being undertaken to address these issues.
The Henry Halloran Trust (http://sydney.edu.au/halloran/), has been established at the University of Sydney through the generous gift of Warren Halloran is attempting to fill this research gap by sponsoring a number of urban research projects. The Urban Research Festival will highlight some of these projects and will have two roles:
1. Hear from one the researchers who has been recently funded by the Trust – A/P Marcus Foth, Director of the Urban Informatics Lab at QUT;
2. Listen to four research teams pitch their research proposals (a maximum of 5 minutes per pitch) in an attempt to secure the last Blue sky research project grant from the Trust for 2014;
Large, global corporations in the technology sector have started to package and sell the ‘Smart City’ vision as a centralized service delivery platform – primarily based on five technology trends: broadband connectivity; smart, personal devices; big data; urban interfaces and sensor networks; and cloud computing. However, an increasing number of scholars and commentators warn of another ‘IT bubble’ emerging. They argue that the top-down deployment of these large and proprietary technology platforms will fail without a thorough understanding of the socio-cultural nuances of how people work, live, play across different environments, and how they employ social media and mobile devices to interact and engage.
Australia’s cities have shifted from centres of manufacturing and industry to the drivers of a globalised economy fueled by knowledge, creativity and innovation
This forum explores how two nations with shared traditions but very different systems of urban governance and planning mediate the supply of new housing, and the roles played by government, planning authorities, developers, property owners and the public in this process.