Open Data Platforms and Licences for Cities will provide students and industry professionals with insights and skills to navigate the interactions between the cultural heritage building recognition and protection systems, the housing and commercial market system, and the contemporary land use planning systems.


Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture

Research Centre

City Futures Research Centre

Delivery Mode



September 2023


28.5 hours



What will I learn?

In today's digital era, data has become an invaluable resource for decision-making, problem-solving, and fostering innovation. Open data holds immense potential for cities, empowering them to engage with citizens, improve public services, and drive sustainable development.

The Open Data Platforms and Licences for Cities short course provides a primer to open urban big data, encompassing aspects like licensing, analysis, visualisation, citizen science, and participatory planning. The course comprises instructional modules dedicated to each of these dimensions, along with a hands-on component that guides users in utilising and adding innovative voluntary geographic information on the City Futures Research Centre’s own Colouring Australia platform.

Colouring Australia

Colouring Australia is a novel open data platform under development with the City Futures Research Centre (Sydney) and the Alan Turing Institute (London). It is part of the international Colouring Cities Research Program and is a free knowledge exchange platform, designed to collate, collect, generate, visualise, open spatial data on every building across Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Canberra. 

This course will cover the functionalities of the Colouring Australia platform, it's available data attributes, and how the data could be used.

How will I learn?

This course is 100% online. The flexible design enables you to set your own pace and schedule. The course includes recorded lectures, readings, learning activities and discussion forums. 

The course is available from 18 September 2023. Once registered, you can begin the course at a time convenient to you following this date. 

On completion of the course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion and a digital badge from UNSW.

Who should take this course?

This course is suitable for researchers, students and industries in the fields of city planning, housing and homeless policy, urban geography, land economics, real estate and property, and construction.  

Who is leading this course?

Course Convener

Dr Matthew Ng is a postdoctoral research fellow at the City Futures Research Centre. His interests lie in understanding the dynamics of urban structures based on their underlying transport, population, and economic networks; their linkages in ongoing processes of decay, renewal, and gentrification; and, the role of urban big data and analytics in substantiating development policies to facilitate or intervene in these processes. He holds a PhD from the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, an MSc in International Planning from the Bartlett School of Planning, and a BSc (Hons) in Biology from the University of Manchester. 


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