Urban Living Labs

Sydney Science Park is the home of the CSIRO’s research and development project - Urban Living Labs. We aim to challenge business-as-usual urban development, exploring new energy systems, water management, health, transport and technology for our cities of the future.

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Helping build sustainable cities of tomorrow

Australian cities rank highly for their liveability in many global indicator systems.  However their sustainability and resilience to withstand extreme heatwaves, droughts, storms and floods and there are numerous inter-related pressures:

  • population movement & changing demographics
  • growing social inequalities & housing affordability
  • need for future-prepared infrastructure 
  • climate change impacts
  • car reliance & oil vulnerability
  • unsustainable resource consumption
  • transition towards net-zero emissions
  • digital and technology disruption

Urban Living Labs encourage collaboration across multiple areas of expertise and jurisdictional boundaries, to undertake research, to experiment and share data, to solve these challenges. In the future, these learnings will allow cities to overcome barriers to change, identify alternate solutions and implement sustainable practices across Australia and the world.

Energy

Sydney Science Park are using future-ready energy infrastructure and intelligent systems to maximise the potential for renewable energy generation, while managing demand through smart energy storage systems and innovative energy-saving devices.

Water

Sydney Science Park takes an integrated approach to water. Supply safe drinking water, while a water recycling centre treats wastewater for irrigation and toilet flushing returning the cost savings to residents while building resilience against drought. Stormwater is then treated to improve its water quality and is retained in the landscape to enable increased cooling and greening in the Wianamatta (South) Creek and the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment.

Transport

The Luddenham Metro Station will be the backbone for liveable and sustainable transport options, connecting SSP to greater Sydney, including the Nancy-Bird Walton International Airport. By building higher density living along transport nodes and designing for convenient, safe and cost-effective use of electrified transport options, an emphasis is placed on healthy (active) and sustainable transport integrated with information communication technology (ICT) to improve user experience and realise the cost benefits of the sharing economy.

Health

Sydney Science Park delivers healthy environments for all ages by collaborating with local Health Districts to develop health infrastructure and systems that are citizen focused and future-ready. Design initiatives like open spaces within 400m of all homes, activated community hubs providing safe and culturally vibrant lifestyles and high speed digital systems enable smart homes and tele- and digi- health.

Heat

Extreme heat has been attributed to cause more deaths in Australia than all other natural hazards combined (Coates et al., 2014). Urban heat islands caused by increased heat (stored in built infrastructure) can exacerbate the risk of heat-related complications in our cities and suburbs. Potential solutions include the use of water, greenery, tree canopy and engineered shade, heat reflective and cool materials, heat and weather refuges, and personal travel route guidance tools.

Circular Economy (waste)

Cities occupy less than 5% of the earths area, yet are responsible for consuming around 80% of the earth’s resources. A transition away from a single use society to a more circular use of materials should consider: how repurposed materials can be designed into infrastructure? And what systems could enable construction and residents of Sydney Science Park to reduce, repurpose and recycle their waste?

Urban agriculture & environment

Healthy environmental ecosystems are essential to support healthy living and biodiversity. which is why valuing heritage, environmental and indigenous leadership have been at the heart of of SSP planning. Environmental areas and open space will comprise approximately 1/3 of the areas of Sydney Science Park. Sustainability initiatives, advanced stormwater management, improved soil properties and managed environmental and productivity zones, will seek to enable local food production, healthy lifestyles and biodiversity, and create local employment.

Active projects

STEM Schools Challenge

The Sydney Science Park CSIRO Urban Living Lab Schools Challenge is an authentic, real Project Based Learning (PBL) project that will have a definite effect on the planning of Sydney Science Park.

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Digital Twin

A powerful data visualisation, simulation and collaboration tool, Digital Twins create virtual replicas of small and large-scale physical objects, buildings, cities, regions and systems, a technology game-changer for the future of smart manufacturing and monitoring.

Recycled Water

The hub will produce 1.2 million litres of recycled water each day – enough for around 10,000 people for toilet flushing, clothes washing, watering gardens and public open spaces.

In the news

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Celestino and Macquarie University Collaboration

The collaboration will explore creating a smart city focusing on innovations in water management, urban greening, heat abatement and smart technology.

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AmCham Australia Western Sydney Summit

The summit identified effective ways to meet the needs of a population that will grow too over half a million by 2036.

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Sydney Science Park STEM School Challenge Launch 2022

The launch event was full of interactive high technology activities and engaging presentations to help kickstart the students’ minds.

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NSW Premier’s 18th Annual State of the Region Address

NSW Premier Dom Perrottet spoke to a sell-out crowd about the next steps in the NSW Government’s plan for the future of Western Sydney.

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Resources

Urban Living Labs are an initiative of the CSIRO and Cleestino and have an array of downloadable resources for visitors. If you feel anything is missing or would like to enquire about some documentation that may not be here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team. The enquiry form is at the bottom of this page. For more resources, please check the CSIRO website.

Get in touch

If you’d like to learn more about the Urban Living Lab at Sydney Science Park then enter your details below and one of the Sydney Science Park team will get back to you shortly. Alterntaively you can see all development news on our LinkedIn page.