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Curtin University

 Current research

URBANET: the future of cities and regions

URBANET is a network of researchers with interests including city planning, urban design, regional planning, transport planning, sustainability, and governance.

The research hub is based within the School of Built Environment and is led by Professor Carey Curtis. The network is structured around four Communities of Interest, each coordinated by a Research Leader:

  • Planning - led by Dr Courtney Babb
  • Governance - led by Dr Diana MacCallum
  • Urban - Rural Interface - led by Dr Amanda Davies
  • Placemaking - led by Reena Tiwari

The network links to a wider group of researchers based at Curtin and across Australia.

The researchers in this network are actively engaged in responsive research with industry and government with the objective to produce new knowledge and understandings for policy and community within the context of sustainability.


  • 'We must plan the driverless city to avoid being hostage to the technology revolution' (The Conversation, 28 April 2017)
    Professor Carey Curtis and Dr Jan Scheurer from the School of Built Environment comment on the number of autonomous car trials in Australia. Read more

  • A new international sourcebook about urban public transportation networks has recently been published by Urbanet's SNAMUTS team. The book, entitled "Planning for Public Transport Accessibility: An international sourcebook", adds substantial analytical and theoretical perspectives to the international discourse about public transport network planning. Urbanet's SNAMUTS multimodal network analysis tool has been applied to a broad range of international destinations, enabling rich comparison between cities by old world–new world; public transport modes; governance approach and urban development constraints. The book is arranged along six themes that address the different planning challenges cities confront. Richly illustrated with maps and diagrams, this volume acts as a comprehensive sourcebook of accessibility indicators and a snapshot of current policy making around the world in the realm of strategic planning for land use transport integration and the growth of public transport. It provides a deeper understanding of the complexity, opportunities and challenges of twenty-first-century accessibility planning.

  • Urbanet recently hosted Albert Steiner in Curtin's Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch (HIVE), enabling immersive and interactive presentation and discussion. Mr Steiner is a leading European expert in transportation modelling, urban simulation, and data visualisations. Mr Steiner presented on novel mechanisms of integrating diverse and extremely accurate data sets in modelling transportation options and in Zurich and surrounds. The HIVE's cylindrical screen was then used to present and discuss SNAMUTS analyses of global cities, presented at the same scale, showcasing the potential of very large digital projections in informing spatial analytics and geographical decision making. An interactive presentation by Dr Scheurer on the underlying theories of transport networks was also undertaken on HIVE's ultra-large tiled display.

  • 'Unlocking the potential for working closer to home' - A research grant awarded to the Urbanet team (Davies, Curtis and Babb) by the Bankwest Curtin Economic Centre will enable a one year study to identify policy settings required to support local neighbourhood based shared-working-spaces, telecommuting and home-working. This Urbanet project examines the barriers and opportunities for increasing the number of people able to work closer to their home in both regional and metropolitan Western Australia.

  • The SNAMUTS team with WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff have been engaged by City of Perth to conduct an accessibility analysis of public transport including scenarios to 2050.