Infrastructure planning dogged by data deficit: AHURI

The datasets needed to properly inform community infrastructure planning in rapidly growing urban areas are generally lacking, a new study says.

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute report found lag times between population growth and new infrastructure delivery “are pervasive in new greenfield development areas”.

Not only is there a lack of coordinated and timely data sharing, but delivery agencies are fragmented.

“New data sources and tools offer an opportunity to address this problem by providing more timely insights to inform the planning and provision of social infrastructure in rapidly growing areas,” the report says.

It finds that novel data sources, which are widely available, can enrich spatial and infrastructure planning in high-growth areas of Australia. These data sources include:

  • Geoscape buildings growth data – used to add urban development information to population data;
  • OpenStreetMap (OSM) – open-source map data;
  • median speed data for every road link across Australia used to measure travel time by car (2019 data by Compass IoT); and
  • General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data – used to measure travel times on transit in the cities of Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth.