Systems-based research, bringing together capability in engineering, information technology, hydrology, and social and economic sciences, to help shape the development of adaptive, resilient, liveable cities of the 21st century.

The challenge

Urbanisation on the rise

The most populous 600 cities in the world are home to 25 per cent of the world’s population and produce around 60 per cent of global GDP. The top 100 generate more than half of this. By 2030, only 17 years from now, it is estimated that five billion people or 80 per cent of humanity will be urbanised.

— State of Australian Cities 2013

Australia is amongst the most urbanised nations by international standards, with a growing urban population and significant dependence on cities for economic stability and productivity. It is therefore vital that our urban centres are well placed to cope with the uncertainties and risks of the 21st century. Placing Australia at the forefront of adaptive urban resilience will position our population socially and economically.

Aerial view of the city of Melbourne and the Yarra River. Our urban systems research helps cities to plan for future challenges.

Our response

Research focus on urban centres

CSIRO is undertaking research across Australia's urban centres, with a range of well established partnerships with industry, governments and universities.

The Urban research team will focus on improving the understanding of issues such as extreme events and other stressors which impact on energy, population health, water, productivity, transport and food supply and generating opportunities and outcomes internationally as well as for Australia.

Our research aims to:

  • Equip Australian urban centres to plan for, respond to, and adapt to current and future major challenges (i.e. population growth, extreme events, environment change and resource limits)
  • Contribute to whole-of-Australia initiatives that improve the economic and development outcomes of our near neighbours and other international partnerships.

Our primary partnerships include:

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