Senior Professor Pascal Perez | “Modelling urban liveability” | TEDxUWollongong 2013

As urban population grows, urban design and infrastructures need to maintain or improve the quality of living environments. The latter, also known as ‘liveability’, refers to the environmental conditions that contribute to the quality of life, alongside social and cultural features. It describes the degree to which a place supports quality of life, health and wellbeing. In broad terms, liveable cities are healthy, safe, harmonious, attractive and affordable. They have high amenity, provide good accessibility and are environmentally sustainable.

In recent years, the concept of liveability has gained some traction in the media due to the creation of a series of well-publicized quantitative indices used to compare and rank cities around the World. Based on various statistical records and normative criteria, these indices tend to reflect their author’s perception of a given reality rather than the experience of the people who live in these cities. There is a need to better understand how individuals and households assess their living conditions and living environment and how these judgments influence long-term decision making like residential mobility or transport mode choice. There is also a need to understand how infrastructure systems relate to and are shaped by the life experiences of the residents and communities who depend on them.

Senior Professor Pascal Perez is a world leader in participatory modelling of complex socio-technical systems.

He is currently Director of the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong, overseeing research in infrastructure-related fields such as water and energy efficiency, future transport and mobility, smart cities and communities, or infrastructure system engineering and logistics. As Director he is responsible for SMART’s academic governance and for establishing strategic scientific partnerships in Australia and beyond.