The AURIN High Impact Projects program delivers new tools, services, and datasets to extend the AURIN infrastructure and improve our understanding of complex urban and regional issues.

We fund projects that create impact beyond research—think economic, societal or policy impact—and represent all aspects of urban and regional research areas such as housing, transport, land use, economy, climate, planning, social policy, infrastructure, health, and demographics.

We value innovation in new spatial analysis techniques, data management and modelling, new data products, and the underlying technology required to support our world-class research infrastructure.

2022-2023 High Impact Projects

AURIN funded five proposals for the second round of High Impact Projects. These projects will launch throughout the second half of 2022.

Collectively, they will provide resources and tools to support informed and effective policy and decision-making across the environment, the economy, health, social equity and access, driving positive impacts around Australia and internationally.

Brief descriptions of these projects are listed below, with further information available here.

Project Lead

Rooftop Photovoltaic Potential Maps for Urban Areas at Building Scale

This project seeks to support the transition to renewables across Australia, as well as provide a knowledge base for infrastructure that will enable energy independence and energy justice in remote communities.

It will produce a case study and an interactive map, with resources such as publications, user guides, documentation and training materials made available in a public GitHub repository for use by developers, planners and researchers.

At scale, the ability to more accurately predict energy needs and impacts would help to reduce the design and install costs of such systems, encouraging effective investment and uptake.

Curtin University

Nationwide Longitudinal Database for Emerging CALD Communities and Social-Environmental Inequities

This project will produce a new database to inform planning and policy decisions impacting CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) populations across Australia. This resource will help to reveal social and environmental inequities, especially those impacting the exposure of CALD populations to the effects of climate change, such as urban heat and changes in urban greening.

This work will build upon the Integrated Heat Vulnerability Index Toolkit, which provides tools allowing researchers to identify indicators of vulnerability to the heat impacts of climate change. Emerging CALD communities, defined as locations with a significant increase in their CALD population over the past twenty years, according to census counts, will be identified. The project will then measure the exposure of these populations to urban heat impacts, as well as how this exposure is effected by social and environmental inequities.


Developing Localised Measures of Social Progress (NSW)

This project will extend on the methodology of the Australian Social Progress Index (SPI), which launched in 2020 and ranks states and territories on their social progress according to indicators such as rights, nutrition, education and environmental quality.

It will produce an SPI for New South Wales at the SA2 level, drawing on a wider range of data and interrogating the impact of policies and programs across different regions in the State. This will help provide the insight required to identify and prioritise community needs, avoiding a ‘one size fits all’ approach to responding to social problems by supporting targeted and effective policy interventions.

UNSW Centre for Social Impact

Economic Impact Analysis Tool (EIAT) Update and Redevelopment

This project will update and redevelop the Economic Impact Analysis Tool (EIAT) to ensure that it remains useful for planners, policy makers, researchers and commercial organisations seeking to estimate the economic impact of investment proposals and decisions.

In supporting informed decisions on resource allocation across a wide range of services, industries and locations, the tool will help to ensure that populations across Australia have access to the benefits of targeted and effective spending and investment. It will also provide opportunities for commercial organisations to ensure that they have a full view of potential economic outcomes when making business decisions.

Flinders University

Integrated National Air Quality Database

The Integrated National Air Quality Database (NAQD) seeks to inform policy and research on air pollution, which has a significant global impact and is relevant to multiple national research priorities, including food, health, the environment, resources, energy, and soil and water.

Building upon previous work which combined air pollution and meteorological data, this project will enhance data collection processes, improve metadata, integrate data from other sources (such as NGOs), and support richer data analytics using machine learning. It will also use citizen science to collect disaggregated data that it is not possible to collect using only current monitoring stations.

In addition, the team will develop an API to make air pollution data available through AURIN, providing a new and valuable resource for policy makers, epidemiologists, government agencies and other researchers.

University of Melbourne

2021-2022 High Impact Projects

AURIN funded seven proposals from the first round of High Impact Projects applications. These projects launched throughout 2021.

Project Lead
An Australian Public Open Space Layer and Survey of Use

This project will make available: a new standardised national public space open layer for Australian capital cities; linked to a new national survey of park use; and create and integrate with the AURIN platform, an expanded version of an existing Public Open Space Tool.

The Public Open Space Tool link will provide a suite of planning support and data summary and processing tools for researchers, policymakers, planners and other AURIN users.

University of Western Australia, The Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC)
Bikeability for Transportation: Tools and Data for Research and Practice

This project will develop a new bikeability assessment tool, making it possible to assess and monitor planning, design, infrastructure and policy interventions over time.

Combined with AURIN’s existing walkability tool, objective and accessible bikeability measures will support multi‐modal transportation planning with a strong active transportation core. The bikeability tool will also help identify populations both well‐ and underserved with active transportation options.

University of Queensland
The Green Australian Vehicle Ownership (GreenAVO) Capability for AURIN

This project aims to significantly augment and extend AURIN’s 2014 cross-sectional database of vehicle ownership and environmental efficiency.

This project will extract data relating to the availability of vehicle registrations and the Green Vehicle Guide from government APIs. This significantly advances AURIN’s capability to deliver up-to-date vehicle ownership data for observing temporal trends and spatial patterns in changes to vehicle technologies and infrastructure requirements.

University of Queensland
High-resolution Estimates of Daytime Residential Population

This project will provide models and datasets which estimate the daily stay-at-home population across Australia. Data is gathered by measuring aggregated internet use and will produce a dataset of the first Australia-wide household fixed broadband use by SA2 regions (per 30 mins).

This dataset will support any research which requires highly resolved population estimates across Australia, in any particular region during the day. These patterns have been substantially disturbed during COVID, and their knowledge is necessary for updated urban planning, energy planning, and transportation infrastructure use assessment. The project will first deliver a static dataset, but will establish the relationship with NBN to build a federated data feed.

University of Melbourne
Integrated Heat Vulnerability Assessment Toolkit for Australian Cities

This project aims to establish a nationwide dynamic and interactive heat vulnerability assessment toolkit. The toolkit will integrate multiple data sources, deep learning, and Web GIS technologies to deliver cool intelligence for more heat resilient Australian cities and suburbs.

The project will develop tools for fusing satellite images and calculating land surface temperature and urban heat island effect. It will also develop tools to construct heat sensitivity, heat adaptive capability indicators, and composite heat vulnerability index, as well as enabling modelling of the relationships between heat, environmental and socioeconomic factors.

RMIT University
Linking the Illawarra Data Repository to AURIN: A Federated Model 

This project will link the Illawarra Data Repository (IDR) to AURIN as a federated data and metadata repository. The IDR is an ongoing initiative that collects electricity and water consumption, residential solid waste and IoT sensor data at various spatial and temporal resolutions in the Wollongong, Shellharbour, and Kiama LGAs.

This project will provide a comprehensive blueprint for federated data repositories that ensure effective and efficient data discovery and the ongoing availability of up-to-date data to the AURIN community.

University of Wollongong
Quantifying Regional Innovation

This project aims to develop a methodology and tool for representing innovation at a regional level across Australia. The project will use a Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) approach to create a variable that measures innovation based on some typical indicators of innovation.

This project will build multiple new indicators for ingestion into the AURIN ecosystem, including a measure of innovation, regional-specific industry growth opportunities, industry strengths, and capabilities. In addition, other datasets will be created that provide indicators about a region’s industrial capabilities using SA2 business count data and knowledge capabilities using SA2 patent data.

Flinders University