Partnering with Universities

As the NSW Government’s land and property development organisation, Landcom is responsible for delivering residential developments that are more affordable, vibrant, connected and sustainable places to live.

Landcom is leading new research and developing collaborative partnerships with universities to improve projects we deliver and the social, environmental and economic outcomes for the people of NSW.

Universities Framework Agreement

In 2016 we established a University Framework Agreement, which formalised a collaboration between the NSW Government and eight of the nation’s top universities: Western Sydney University, the University of Newcastle, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of Sydney, the University of NSW, Macquarie University, Southern Cross University and the University of Wollongong.

This is an inclusive partnership with regional and city-based institutions, which recognises the importance of promoting diversity of creative leadership, ambition, and vision. Through this agreement, emerging academics from all backgrounds can make a contribution to society through their work and their interactions with government and industry.

The areas covered by the Universities Framework Agreement include:

  • research
  • industry interface
  • student engagement (undergraduate, post-graduate)
  • learning events
  • specialist scholarly advice, and
  • the City transformation Data Hub


Universities Framework Agreement

University Partnership Signing

Landcom University Roundtable

The University Roundtable was established to drive innovative approaches to long term engagement between government and the university community.

The Roundtable represented by senior academics from each partner institution, as well as senior officers from Landcom, UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation, Hunter Development Corporation, Infrastructure NSW, the NSW Office of Government Architects and the Greater Sydney Commission.

The Roundtable meets multiple times a year to review research proposals in areas of urban innovation, to give strategic direction to the partnership, and explore new areas of research.


Communities of Practice

The Communities of Practice (COP) was established as a channel through which members of the academic community and Government can collaborate on research, student engagement opportunities and learning events.

Participants represent the diversity of academia including planning, architecture, urban design, public administration, construction practice, sustainability, data analytics, law, engineering, business, and social sciences .

Participants in the COP create and contribute to unique research projects as well report learning outcomes back to their institution. This approach allows each COP to cover a wide range of disciplines and research topics, with the potential to deliver multi-faceted solutions to the challenges of urban development.  

Collaborative Research Partnerships

Landcom partners with members of the academic community to co-create academic research which demonstrates a commitment to our ambition to develop exemplar models of new housing and lead industry innovation. Our collaborative research partnerships are a critical example of how academia and government can collaborate to problem-solve some of the most significant challenges facing our communities.  

The Connected City

The Connected City Data Hub is a collaboration between Landcom, University of Wollongong; the University of New South Wales and Western Sydney University.

This research project promotes greater use and accessibility of data and other knowledge assets to support ongoing planning, evaluation and engagement around our transformation projects. This will help ensure that our approach to City Transformation is supported by world-leading data infrastructure. The Connected City Scoping Study & Roadmap has developed a set of strategic recommendations, insights and technical advice on appropriate options for a Data Hub.


Power Plants: Phytoremediation of Contaminated Land

This research project is applying phytoremediation techniques at White Bay Power Station through the design and planting of a series of remediation gardens. This project demonstrates how phytoremediation can be used to rehabilitate and restore balance to contaminated soil. It combines both innovative science with a unique activation opportunity.

A literature review of urban phytoremediation approaches has been completed, including international case studies and the design for the first garden which was planted in August 2018.

Implications of Connected and Automated Vehicles for the Bays Precinct

Landcom, the UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation and Transport for NSW recognise the importance of new transport technologies in shaping the future of urban development. In recognition of this we’ve partnered with academics from the University of Sydney, University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University to explore the urban policy and planning implications of autonomous vehicles within the master planning processes.

Valuing Adaptive Re-use of Heritage Buildings

This project is a collaboration between Landcom, Western Sydney University, Macquarie University and the University of Sydney to address the challenges of adaptive re-use of heritage buildings and sites.

This project is examined successful cases of commercially sustainable re-use of heritage buildings and identified indicators/frameworks that have been used to value heritage, including market-led site and building valuations. The scope of the project includes methods that value heritage landscapes and ecologies, which have a significant impact on precinct commercial valuations.

Community Engagement 4.0

Emerging technologies are transforming our communities, workplaces and cities. Such technology also has the opportunity to transform the way we engage around large urban transformation projects. That’s why Landcom and the UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation have partnered with the University of NSW, the University of Sydney, UDIA and Cox Architects to demonstrate public sector innovation through the use of Urban Pinboard as a community engagement tool. This project will use 3D modelling via the Urban Pinboard platform to assist in explaining planning concepts to the public; and will be tested on an UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation Project. 

Translating Evidence to Support Planning Strategies for Healthier Higher Density Living

This project is a collaboration between Landcom, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of Sydney and the University of NSW to generate new knowledge and tools to address gaps in understanding the way health evidence can be applied to the planning of higher density urban precincts. This project draws together the disciplines of public health, planetary health, translational research and healthy planning to provide a robust understanding of how health evidence can be used to plan higher density precinct developments to support both day-to-day and intergenerational population health.

Valuing creative place making: development of a toolkit for public and private stakeholders

This project focuses on the ways in which creative place making activities are linked to social and economic value, in order to reinforce that these activities have direct or associated financial value for developers themselves. Landcom and the Hunter Development Corporation are partnering with the University of Newcastle, Macquarie University and the University of Sydney to identify specific social and economic indicators that may be used to evaluate and value creative place-making as a valuable developmental tool in its own right.

From Suburban to Urban: Planning for the Delivery of Quality Open Space

A rapidly growing Sydney population will increasingly be accommodated in higher density areas. Provision of open spaces in those areas will have to be carefully considered because of limited availability and changing demographics and needs. This partnership between Landcom, Government Architect NSW, Western Sydney University and the University of Technology Sydney will review open space definitions and typologies, open space needs of and uses by public, open space provision guidelines and practices in planning in Australia and overseas. It will also examine information on local and state policies and practices related to open space provision requirements in consultation with the local and state planners. Ultimately the project will develop a draft framework to be piloted through action case study research.

Reflecting on Regeneration

This project will bring together a collaboration of Landcom, Land & Housing Corporation, Macquarie University, the University of NSW and the University of Sydney to reflect on the redevelopment of the Minto housing estate. The project will provide a detailed analysis of the academic and grey literature to explore the potential measurable social outcomes associated with the redevelopment of the former Minto social housing estate. The project will also determine whether qualitative and quantitative social indicators can be identified that could be applied to future urban regeneration of social housing estates in NSW.

Sustainable Urban Food Production

This project is a partnership between the UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation, Macquarie University, University of Technology Sydney and the University of Sydney to explore the relationship between local food ecologies and urban redevelopment. This project will work with key stakeholders to review literature on urban agriculture and social innovation in local food systems and develop an urban foodscape typology for inner city Sydney addressing issues such as activity, scale, design and connectivity. The research team will work with UGDC to implement the research into the master planning process.