Melrose Park: Smart planning for climate responsive neighbourhoods

Melrose Park: Smart planning for Climate Responsive Neighbourhoods was a twenty month project led by the City of Parramatta Council, in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney, PAYCE, mProjects, the urban institute [ui!], and ESRI Australia, with significant grant support from the Australian Government, through the second round of the Smart Cities and Suburbs program. The project commenced in November 2018 and was completed in June 2020.

The project explored the application of real-time low-cost environmental sensing technology to four critical use cases at Melrose Park, on the eastern edge of the City of Parramatta. The area is a mix of residential and light industrial zones on the northern side of the Parramatta River and is dominated by a thirty hectare brownfield site, formally a light industrial park, now under development by PAYCE. The new Melrose Park development is being constructed over a ten year period and is expected to include up to ten thousand new residences as well as mixed commercial and retail space. The development features a significant number of new buildings, extensive parkland and tree canopy cover, as well as new transport links. Combined with the significant growth in local population resulting from new residences, the liveability of the area is expected to change substantially as the site develops and matures. By monitoring the local microclimate at Melrose Park, the project sought to establish a baseline of environmental data, against which future changes can be compared. The provision of real-time data, aggregated from multiple sources, also supported a range of experimental operational outcomes for the management and future planning of the development. The project worked closely with the local community, exploring citizen’s concerns about environmental liveability and delivering novel and accessible new technologies, such as an open community LoRaWAN network and a public data discovery dashboard.