Professor Christopher Pettit

Research Centre Staff, City Futures Research Centre, Smart Cities
With the rise of the Internet of Things, big data and AI, it’s vital our city-shaping professions can critically understand the potentials and pitfalls of engaging with disruptive technologies. My research aims to bridge the digital divide, so policy planners and decision-makers etc can make better informed decisions using advanced analytics, models and simulations.
What makes this research unique is that we put people first, and then establish which data, tools and technologies can add value to city shaping processes. My work has enabled me to create data-assisted city-wide scenarios of urban growth and change that have been applied in major urban areas across Australia.
As the creator of the Master of City Analytics Program, I’m passionate about upskilling the next generation in taking a systems-thinking approach to city planning and design. By geodesigning our cities together, we can tackle the big challenges of urbanisation and climate change while creating equitable and liveable cities to be proud of.
Red Centre West Wing

Chris Pettit is the Director of the City Futures Research Centre, inaugural professor of Urban Science, and Plus Alliance Fellow at UNSW Sydney. He currently Chair of the Board of Directors for CUPUM (Computational Urban Planning and Urban Management) and on the International Advisory Board for the “Geo for all” initiative. He is a member of the Planning Institute of Australia’s National Plantech Wrking Group, the advisory board for the Centre for Data Leadership, the Committee for Sydney’s Smart Cities Taskforce and the NSW Government Expert Advisory Group for Planning Evidence and Insights.

Prof Pettit established the City Analytics Lab (CAL), a dedicated space designed to support collaborative city planning and user-centred design He is an investigator on a number of ARC, CRC and Industry projects including Chief Investigator on the Rapid Analytics Interactive Scenario Explorer Toolkit and more recently – “Value Australia – Sharpening our land and property decisions with Artificial Intelligence”.

Prof Pettit’s expertise is in the convergence of the fields of city planning and digital technologies including Geographical Information Sciences (GIS). He has given numerous keynote addresses at conferences around the world, is on the editorial board for a number of journals and has published over 200 academic papers. For the last 25 years, he has been undertaking research and development in the use of digital planning tools to support a data-driven approach to geodesigning future city scenarios. His research expertise also spans into understanding the utility and usability of geographical visualization tools including, advanced spatial decision support systems and city dashboards.