Community Participation in Smart Urban Planning


University of Sydney

Sydney and Brisbane, New South Wales, Queensland

Project stage



Start date: 01 January 2018
End date: 30 June 2019

Project value

Australian Government funding:


  • Logan City Council, Qld
  • City of Canada Bay, NSW

Focus area

  • City and community planning

Project type

  • Community engagement

Open data link

Project summary

This project will enable analysis of opinions on urban development to improve decision making by local councils.

The challenge

Social media and online communication have changed the way citizens engage with urban planning, and city decision making processes. It is no longer simply one-way or two-way communication, as citizens engage on urban issues in a complex and more connected way than ever before. Accessing and making sense of the diversity of citizen’s opinions on how to shape urban environments is an on-going challenge for government. So government needs new ways to listen to, and act on, its citizen’s opinions and desires for their communities.


We are collecting citizen opinions from a range of online sources, including social media and comments on news articles, and applying machine learning methods (sentiment analysis and clustering) to extract overall sentiments of the people on urban projects and meaningful topics of interest from the data. The ‘real time’ or ‘near real time’ data will be presented to citizens and local government on data visualization dashboard/s to inform local government decision making and planning.


The tools developed bring together the diversity of community voices in a way that can be considered by city planners in how they shape our cities- and the tools are scalable.


Contact details

Name: Tooran Alizadeh