The Australia-India Smart Cities workshop series will begin this week in Sydney with discussions on how cities can harness technology and big data to become smarter, sustainable and more efficient.

Organised by UNSW’s Smart Cities Research Cluster (SCRC), sponsored by the Australian Government and the Australia-India Council, the workshops will be held in Sydney, Chennai and New Delhi to discuss how Australian cities can engage with digital technology and big data markets in emerging countries such as India, who are leading the smart cities agenda.

The first workshop in the series, the Smart Cities and Informed Urbanisation Workshop on 6–7 April at UNSW’s Sydney CBD Campus, brings together international digital strategists, urban planners, government and business leaders, academics and start-ups. The Chennai and New Delhi workshops will take place on 24 and 27 April respectively.

The Government of India has committed to building 100 Smart Cities totalling an investment of $480 billion over five years. According to SCRC convenor Dr Scott Hawken, Australia, as a highly urbanised and wealthy country, faces a different set of challenges with current political and business interests still heavily invested in outdated technologies from the 20th century.

Observing that Australia also needs to commit to flagship projects and the promotion of new smart innovations to both inspire and transform its cities and urban space, he adds that the Australian Government’s $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program signifies a positive change in direction.

The Smart Cities and Informed Urbanisation Workshop in Sydney will include sessions on: shaping smart and innovative urban districts; smart transport systems and infrastructure modelling; and informed urbanism – data-driven governance.


  • Lucinda Hartley – Co-Founder at CoDesign Studio and Neighbourlytics
  • David Holden – Associate Director, Kinesis
  • Debolina Kundu – Chair, Housing and Urban Development Corporation, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), Government of India
  • Professor Chris Pettit – Professor of Urban Science and Associate Director, UNSW City Futures Research Centre
  • Bill Randolph – Director, UNSW City Futures Research Centre
  • Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse – Director, NSW Business Development, Research & International Relations, NSW Spatial Services, Department of Finance, Services & Innovation
  • Sunita Sanghi – Advisor (Urbanisation), NITI Aayog, Government of India; Meredith Sussex AM – Chair, Ministerial Advisory Council, Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area, Melbourne
  • S Travis Waller – Professor and Director of the Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation, UNSW

The Smart Cities and Informed Urbanisation Workshop will be held at the UNSW CBD Campus, 6/1-15 O’Connell St, Sydney on 6–7 April, 9am–5pm.