CSIRO lab to test urban living opens in Sydney

Friday, 03 February, 2017

CSIRO lab to test urban living opens in Sydney

The CSIRO and Celestino have opened an operational urban living lab at the Sydney Science Park.

Within the lab’s test environment, researchers will explore urban living, green efficiency, water demand, community wellbeing, health and the impact of technological advancements.

The research carried out will be key to the development and renewal of Australian cities and urban spaces under pressure from population and climate 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,” said Craig Laundy, Assistant Minister for Science.

“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.”

Examples of the research topics already under consideration include:

  • the impact of increased urban greening on local temperatures and ecology, changes in energy and water demand and consumption, and the influence on community wellbeing 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.

“Just like you test new medical technologies in a lab, you need to test new urban-living technologies in a real urban environment. Sydney Science Park is the perfect testing ground for these inventions of tomorrow,” said Celestino CEO John Vassallo.

The lab will connect inventors to mentors, scientific expertise and, importantly, venture capital.

“We don’t just want inventions, we want new prototypes commercialised and rolled out to the market,” Vassallo said.

Mayor of Penrith John Thain has also welcomed the new development.

“The creation of the CSIRO Urban Living Lab embodies the innovative and progressive direction Celestino have set for the Sydney Science Park — located within the Penrith LGA,” said Thain.

“The partnership is a very welcome announcement. 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.”

Image credit: ©Ella Sarkisyan/Dollar Photo Club

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