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Research Project Updates

The CAUL Hub is undertaking four major research projects in the areas of Air Quality, Urban Greening, Liveable Urban Systems and Urban Biodiversity. Underlying all of these is a fifth project providing a framework for gathering, testing and presenting high-quality data sources.

Current updates on all of these projects can be found below. See here for a list of recent CAUL Hub publications.

Western Sydney Air Quality Study project

May 2017

A series of “hot spot” air quality measurements have been completed in Western Sydney, and high-resolution modelling and measurement tools for pollutants near roads have been tested.

Models allowing the prediction of changes in air quality from changes in emissions have been developed and are currently being tested.

Personal exposure measurement devices have been benchmarked. These will allow air quality to be measured at an individual level, through the determination of typical human exposure to airborne pollutants.

July 2016

A suite of instruments have been established at a site in Auburn in Western Sydney and an initial measurement campaign has been undertaken. Further instrumentation is being installed at this site, and the identification of and negotiation for access to further sites for additional campaigns is underway. These new measurements will improve the spatial resolution of air pollution measurements to better allign them with the spatial scales of the models.

The development of two preliminary air pollution models for the NSW Greater Metropolitan Region has been completed.

More information on the Western Sydney Air Quality Study research project can be found here.

Urban Greening for Liveability and Biodiversity project

May 2017

Analysis of the sensitivity of Melbourne’s street trees to climate change has been completed, using climate envelope modelling of current and potential street tree populations. Involved in this analysis has been the modelling of the effect of climate on how green space is distributed, and working with research partners to develop prioritisation frameworks at national and local scales, to increase urban greening.

A discussion paper on urban canopy cover has been developed, articulating the complex role of ‘targets’ and ‘trajectories’.

July 2016

A discussion paper on monitoring urban canopy cover quality and diversity has been developed. This paper articulates the complex role of specific ‘targets’ and ‘trajectories’ in enhancing urban greening in diverse contexts around Australia.

A significant workshop on mapping urban greening will be held in Canberra in August 2016 and planning for this is underway.

An analysis of Melbourne street tree sensitivity to climate change has been completed and is being prepared for publication.

More information on the Urban Greening for Liveability and Biodiversity research project can be found here.

Liveable Urban Systems project

May 2017

A commuting cost model for Melbourne has been developed, based on transport mode and journey distance.

A range of liveability indicators have been developed and mapped for Australian cities, and Green Cities Blueprints for Perth, Sydney and Melbourne will soon be underway.

Liveability analysis of the Upper Stony Creek redevelopment has commenced.

July 2016

A vehicle-level traffic model for metropolitan Sydney has been developed. This model incorporates vehicles, demography, roads, car parks, meteorology and fuels. This will allow more precise emissions modelling to be undertaken with respect to various policy options. This task is also crucial to the Western Sydney Air Quality Study project.

A city-wide urban greening analysis is underway in Perth in collaboration with UWA, RMIT and CSIRO.

An assessment of how liveability is conceptualised in Australian policy documents, and the vertical integration between local, state and federal policies related to liveability is near completion.

Planning is underway for a liveability analysis of a major urban redevlopment project in the western suburbs of Melbourne at Upper Stony Creek.

More information on the Liveable Urban Systems research project can be found here.

Shared Urban Habitat project

May 2017

A seminar and workshop on the priority threatened species in cities have been held.

The new citizen science app for urban wildlife has been developed and is currently being trialed.

July 2016

A comprehensive dataset on threatened species in urban environments has been compiled. This database covers 390 threatened species across 98 Australian cities.

Two workshops on the identification of suitable species for re-wilding in cities have been held.

The development of an app for this project is underway. This app will allow citizen scientists to track sightings of target species in their neighbourhoods. Importantly it will also help to measure the benefits in wellbeing that people derive from interacting with nature on a daily basis in their urban environments.

More information on the Shared Urban Habitat research project can be found here.

Data Integration

May 2017

Datasets such as mobile air pollution devices and LIDAR data for urban green space mapping have been integrated with AURIN.

The development of big data processing platforms for dealing with high volume, high velocity data, has been completed.

An application programming interface to improve access to datasets and a visualisation portal for public access to research results, are currently being developed.

July 2016

Mobile air pollution devices have been benchmarked against EPA instruments. These datasets are now being prepared for integration within the AURIN platform.

The development of an Open API for the AURIN platform is near completions. This API will allow increased researcher access to datasets, improving their ability to do new analyses.

A study of social media sentiment analysis in relation to weather has been completed and published.

More information on the Data Integration research project can be found here.