Monash Art, Design and Architecture researchers contribute to The Melbourne Experiment: Cities for people

The Melbourne Experiment is a landmark interdisciplinary research collaboration studying the effects of COVID-19 on the functions of a city and an international model for post-COVID-19 urban recovery and renewal.

Bringing together research expertise across Monash University, the Melbourne Experiment examines key activities and elements of the urban environment before, during and after the COVID-19 shutdown.

Given the significant immediate and long-term impacts of the pandemic on Melbourne, the project will investigate a diverse set of activities including traffic flow, electricity use, urban and household behaviour, use of parks and public spaces and air quality.

Within Monash Art, Design and Architecture, research centres on understanding the relationship between urban form and the impacts of Covid-19. It will study key areas of urban form, public space use, environment impact, transport use, economic effects of the shutdown and analyse patterns from both before this period and changes that occur throughout 2020 as well as long term impacts. This research aims to support sustainable urban policy and crisis management into future.

We are developing a digital model of Melbourne that maps the evolving impacts of COVID-19 on different places and communities of the city. Combining urban form with environment, demographic, health and economic data, the city model will be a platform to advance wider discussion on post-coronavirus recovery scenarios with city councils, state government and the community.

By enhancing knowledge of the relationship between virus transmission, recovery, and various characteristics of urban form, our work will assist in targeting resources and preparing communities vulnerable to COVID-19 and future societal disruptions. Explaining where and under what conditions future outbreaks will most likely occur – and understanding development alternatives – is essential to assist health and urban policymakers to track and plan for future epidemics.

Professor Carl Grodach, Monash University Art, Design and Architecture

Associated research projects