Western Sydney is set to host a new CSIRO research initiative aimed at transforming urban spaces and creating liveable, sustainable cities of the future.

In conjunction with property developers Celestino, CSIRO will establish its first operational ‘Urban Living Lab’ at the Sydney Science Park, which is set to be built in Luddenham.

According to CSIRO, the living lab will be “a place where researchers, industry, government and communities can get together and create, design and test innovative urban development concepts, moving beyond the lab into the real world.”

The research conducted at the lab will help to develop and renew Australian cities and urban spaces to be sustainable, despite such pressures as population growth and climate change.

Some research topics to be investigated are already under consideration, including:

  • The impact of increased urban greening on local temperatures and ecology, changes in energy and water demand and consumption, and the influence on community well-being and health
  • Smart water systems that can efficiently provide different classes of water for different uses on demand
  • The influence of digital disruptions and information technology advances on urban structure, industry development and community connectivity.

Assistant Minister for Science Craig Laundy said he is looking forward to seeing multiple stakeholders gather together to bring about urban, environmental, and innovative change.

“The Urban Living Lab initiative offers a new way for researchers, industry, community and government to co-innovate and provide a place to address a range of challenges facing the urban sector,” Laundy said in a statement.

“It’s great to see CSIRO engaging in this public-private collaboration which will not only tackle important issues for our cities, but also provide a boost to the local economy with jobs and opportunities for STEM students.”

Celestino CEO John Vassallo said he is looking forward to implementing some of the lab’s research into Sydney Science Park itself.

“We could see people creating new ways to harness solar energy in the workplace and developing novel ideas to store head and keep homes cool,” he said.

“New sustainable transport solutions will also be encouraged as well as inventions that conserve water and energy and drive down utility bills.

“Once developed, all of these technologies will be tested on the homes, businesses, shops, roads and parks of Sydney Science Park.”

Mayor of Penrith John Thain welcomed the new addition to the Sydney Science Park development.

“The Urban Living Lab fits with council’s vision to not just build Penrith as a city of the future, but to reap benefits for communities well beyond our own boundaries.”