National Open space working group

Australian Researchers collaborating to bring our research community high quality, nationally consistent open space data.


Open spaces matter to Australian communities. Its benefits can be seen across various dimensions of society such as active spaces and mental health for well-being, the economy in areas like property uplift, and the environment with air quality and flora/fauna. Yet with high levels of population growth in urban areas, researchers and decision makers are in critical need of a high-quality national dataset that meets their needs. While several publicly available open and green space datasets exist, these differ in scale and granularity resulting in an unusable, piecemeal representation that cannot be suitably analysed.

To address this problem, we are working with our partners to develop a consistent data model for the capture and communication of open spaces, which can leverage new conceptual and linked data techniques to deliver meaningful, ongoing results. The National Open Space Working Group (NOSWG) consists of members from across research, practice and government who share the common goal of needing to investigate what’s required. The group was formed following discussions at the Health Geography workshop preceding the Institute of Australian Geographers Annual Meeting 2017, led by Dr Lukar Thornton and Associate Prof Neil Coffee.


  • Bryan Boruff, University of Western Australia
  • Luke Caruana, PSMA
  • Verity Cleland, University of Tasmania
  • Neil Coffee, University of Canberra
  • Shaun Copley, Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Melanie Davern, RMIT University
  • Serryn Eagleson, Data61
  • Adam Ellison, PSMA
  • Michael Dixon, PSMA
  • Suzanne Mavoa, University of Melbourne
  • Verity Miles, VPA
  • Nova Reinfeld-Kirkman, Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Michael Rigby, AURIN / University of Melbourne
  • Julianna Rozek, RMIT University
  • Jamie Sheehan, VPA
  • Lukar Thornton, Deakin University
  • Rachel Whitsed, Charles Sturt University


Interested in finding out more?