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Tackling the Challenge of Growing Cities: An Informed Urbanisation Approach


Two global transformative changes—rapid urbanisation and mass digital disruption—are brought together in the concept of ‘Informed Urbanisation’. This approach stands in contrast with the more common and more problematic ‘accidental urbanisation’ that is unsustainable, responsive urban growth driven by population demand and economic development. Informed urbanisation offers the means to decipher cities, comprising integral systems of networks and flows, through rigorous and comprehensive analysis of the multitude of data on housing, transport, city resilience, city migration and other aspects of urban change. In this chapter we introduce an Informed Urbanisation framework and present case studies on how it is being designed and activated in the cities of Phoenix, London and Sydney.


  • Informed urbanisation
  • Rapid urbanisation
  • Resilience
  • Geodesign
  • Visualisation
  • Open Data
  • Data store
  • Dashboard

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  1. 1.

    The project consortium comprises Dhaka Community Health Trust, the Indian NGO SEEDS, the Asia Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), the Centre for the Research of the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) at the University of Louvain and UNSW. It is funded by the Start Network, with funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).



Arizona State University


Asia Disaster Reduction and Response Network


Centre for the Research of the Epidemiology of Disasters


Clean Air Zones


Congestion Charging Scheme


UK Department for International Development


King’s College London


London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory


London Air Quality Network


Low Emission Zone


Sustainable Development Goal


ultra Low Emission Zone


University of New South Wales


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Pettit, C. et al. (2020). Tackling the Challenge of Growing Cities: An Informed Urbanisation Approach. In: Hawken, S., Han, H., Pettit, C. (eds) Open Cities | Open Data. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.

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