universities hero 2


Partnering with universities

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.

Roundtable Agreement

In 2016 we established a Roundtable 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 Agreement means emerging academics from all disciplines can contribute to innovative urban research projects in collaboration with government agencies and industry partners.

The areas covered by the Roundtable Agreement include:

  • research
  • industry interface
  • student engagement (undergraduate, post-graduate)
  • learning events
  • specialist scholarly advice
  • data sharing.
Read more CaretDown CaretUp

Landcom Roundtable

The Roundtable was established to drive innovative approaches to urban research where government, academia and industry work in genuine collaboration.

The Roundtable is comprised of senior academics from each partner institution, as well as senior staff from Landcom and other NSW government organisations.

The Roundtable meets to review collaborative research proposals providing strategic direction to the partnership, and to explore new area of inquiry.

Communities of Practice

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

Participants represent a range of disciplines including planning, architecture, urban design, public administration, construction practice, sustainability, data analytics, law, engineering, business, and social sciences.

Contributors in the COP co-create and contribute to unique research projects, as well as 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 complex urban challenges.

Collaborative Research Partnerships

Landcom partners with members of the academic community to co-create research projects which demonstrate a commitment to our Strategic Directions of Leadership, Partnership and Housing. Our collaborative research partnerships are a critical example of how academia and government can work together to address some of the most significant challenges facing our communities.


The Connected City Data Hub

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

The project explored the potential for greater use and accessibility of data and other knowledge assets to support ongoing planning, evaluation and engagement around urban transformation projects. This ensures that Landcom’s approach is supported by knowledge of 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.

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 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.

Revitalising urban heritage through adaptive re-use

This research project was a collaboration between UrbanGrowth NSW, Western Sydney University, Macquarie University and the University of Sydney.

This report examines 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 research included methods that value heritage landscapes and ecologies, which have a significant impact on precinct commercial valuations.

Power Plants: Phytoremediation of Contaminated Land

This research project involves UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation working collaboratively with the University of Newcastle, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of New South Wales and Landcom.

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.

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

This project focuses on the ways that creative placemaking activities are linked to social and economic value, to demonstrate that these activities have direct or associated financial value for developers as well as local communities.

Landcom and the Hunter Central Coast 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.

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 uses 3D modelling via the Urban Pinboard platform to assist in explaining planning concepts to the public.

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 is reviewing 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 also examines information on local and state policies and practices related to open space provision requirements in consultation with local and state planners. The project is developing a draft framework to be piloted through action case study research.

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.

Sustainable Urban Food Production

This research project is a partnership between the UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation, Macquarie University, the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Sydney.

This project explored the relationship between local food ecologies and urban redevelopment. The team worked with key stakeholders to review the literature on urban agriculture and social innovation in local food systems and developed an urban foodscape typology for inner-city Sydney addressing issues such as activity, scale, design and connectivity.

Affordable build to rent

This research project explored the potential for a ‘Build-to-Rent’ (BTR) sector with affordable rental as a component in the New South Wales housing market. Case studies from the United Kingdom and early BTR developments in Australia were investigated.

This project is a partnership between Landcom, the University of New South Wales, the University of Technology Sydney, Macquarie University and the London School of Economics.

Predictive housing price model

This research project will develop a framework that augments existing predictive house price models and tests a range of additional economic variables with the intent of more accurately forecasting long-term (8 to 10 years) real estate prices in the Sydney residential property market.

The project is a collaboration between Landcom, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of New South Wales and the University of Wollongong.

Cooling the Commons

This research project analysed studies that have documented best practices to achieve thermal comfort in cities with similar climatic conditions to Sydney. It addresses the gap in knowledge of how people move between inside and outside, especially vulnerable populations—young, old and mobility-challenged. Of particular interest are those spaces and social practices that connect the private space of home with the footpaths, shops, schools, parks, workplaces, and other spaces that we share in common.

Solutions being explored are connected to design and the realm of social practice, including:

  • How do people stay cool?
  • How does this coolness contribute to the vitality, sociability, and even commercial life of cities?
  • What design features allow for both comfort and mobility in the city
  • What social practices are these enabling?

This project has reviewed literature and developed a pattern book for communicating core principles of design that can enable cool urban commons and inform templates for community cooling plans.

The project is a collaboration between Landcom, Western Sydney University and the University of New South Wales.

Collaborative Robotics

This project aims to investigate how collaborative robotics (a robotic device, which manipulates objects in collaboration with a human operator) could help to address the shortage of skilled labour to meet NSW housing goals. Phase 1 of this project focussed on understanding the technical, economic and social challenges of adopting collaborative robotics technologies in the Australian construction industry. Subsequent phases are exploring collaborative workflows in the laboratory and under construction site conditions, and will provide recommendations for how collaborative robotics could be deployed.

This project is a collaboration between Landcom, the University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney and Western Sydney University.

Designing Bio-Shelters

This project is applying cutting-edge modelling techniques more usually applied to architectural problems to design artificial habitats for native biodiversity in heavily urbanised estuaries. Data on the environmental tolerances and habitat requirements of target species, along with biophysical attributes of the target site are being inputted into computational models to produce bespoke bio-shelters, customised for particular species and sites. A variety of materials are being investigated and the designs will be tested in aquatic environments.

This project is a collaboration between Landcom, UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation, the University of New South Wales and Macquarie University.

New Generation Workspace and Precinct Activation

This research project provided a robust review of new generation workspace (NGW), a term which we use to include makerspaces, business parks, industrial estates, factories, and distribution sites which are digitally enabled. This is often referred to as manufacturing 4.0, as it implies a significant break with previous modes of industrial organisation, given the new operating possibilities offered by digital technology and the internet of things.

The project assessed successful examples in other cities in Australia and internationally, and used the Landcom precinct – Bella Vista on Sydney Metro Northwest railway line – as a case study to assess ways in which these workspaces can be integrated into development formats and within planning regulations. It also included architecture and design studio projects, which experimented with different spatial configurations, typologies and concepts for the precinct.

The project was a collaboration between Landcom, Western Sydney University and the University of Sydney.

Creating the city we want: tackling the barriers to housing diversity in NSW

This research project is investigating barriers to housing diversity in NSW through exploration of spatial models to satisfy a diverse array of family structures, cultural groups and aging.

The research is exploring what might the city look like, revealing what opportunities there may be for living within that city, and potential impacts on affordability. This includes exploring different dwelling typologies, their relationship with the surrounding precinct, and how these different precincts might constitute a more open, diverse, and equitable city. The research will explore the barriers to realizing this alternate city by:

  • exploring spatial models that might accommodate an increased diversity
  • analysing why the new spatial models are better for society
  • testing the spatial models against current regulatory and institutional frameworks to reveal barriers that prohibit a more diverse housing stock
  • consider the interrelationship of life cycle living
  • exploring alternate tenure forms, regulatory frameworks, institutional relationships and incentive-based mechanisms that might enable new models
  • highlighting potential financing mechanisms that could accommodate the alternative spatial and tenure models.

The project is a collaboration between Landcom, the University of Technology Sydney, Western Sydney University and the University of New South Wales.

Reflecting on Regeneration

This research project will bring together a collaboration of Landcom, Land & Housing Corporation, Family and Community Services, Macquarie University, the University of NSW and the University of Sydney.

The research 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 research 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.