Digital Cities - MUPS0006

Faculty: Built Environment

School: Built Environment

Course Outline: Built Environment

Campus: Sydney

Career: Postgraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 24

Enrolment Requirements:

Currently enrolled in program 8313, 5313 or 7313 Urban Policy and Strategy

CSS Contribution Charge: 2 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

View course information for previous years.


The data and information available helping us understand how our cities work and the challenges faced by policy makers working within the urban realm have become highly sophisticated. On the one hand, collation and manipulation of these data accords with reaffirmation of cities as entities to be scientifically understood and the potential of evidence-based policy and practice to address challenges, inequities and inefficiencies exposed. Real time data, VR and smart building technologies offer the prospect of opening up and transforming traditional 2D interpretations of the city fabric and our understanding of the social, economic and environmental issues shaping residents’ lives and stakeholders’ decision-making processes. On the other, the potential opened up in terms of ownership, access and presentation of social-spatial data raises both opportunities and challenges in terms of transparency, accountability and governance in the urban sphere. Open source platforms, social networks and blogs ensure that the preserve of social scientists and policymakers is increasingly shared and discussed in a landscape which raises many questions and heralds as-yet only partially understood opportunities. This course explores the breadth of data available to urban policymakers, using recently completed and indeed ‘live’ projects being undertaken within City Futures Research Centre and Built Environment more widely. With the Faculty providing a principal hub in the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN), students will have access to innovative, nationwide spatial datasets: Australian cities and Sydney in particular will be our laboratory, but international perspectives will be drawn upon. Integral to exploring the application of these data and the techniques to do so, students will be encouraged to critically engage with the politics and power embedded in the complex process of data definition, management, knowledge production and dissemination.

Sydney at night

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