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Translating high quality research specific to better design and building practice
Translating high quality research specific to better design and building practice

Liveability

What is it?

Increased population ageing, combined with government strategies that encourage ageing-in-place, will require local governments to adapt town centres to accommodate the diverse needs of their local communities and ensure that the built environment is as supportive as possible as residents age.

The UNSW Liveability App is a free mobile application designed to give community members, especially people with disability, older people, and carers, greater input into the design, development and improvement of their town centres. It is a data collection and analysis tool that can inform neighbourhood design to better satisfy the needs of the community.

The Liveability App has been designed at UNSW Sydney as a collaborative project between the Built Environment Faculty's Enabling Built Environments Program (EBEP) and the Engineering Faculty's School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications.

Who is it for?

This App will assist local government authorities to identify the built environment needs of community members, such as older people and people with disability, to develop plans that address these needs. Designed with accessibility in mind, Liveability allows comments via text or audio on Android Tablets to let residents be heard in the local community anytime, anywhere.

Why did we build it?

There is a need to increase the independence and participation of community members in their local communities, and improve the liveability, safety and accessibility of town centres and main streets to accommodate ageing populations. 

How does it work?

Community members use the app to rate the liveability features and services of their local area, including walkability, health, and overall liveability. The Liveability App collects this information through audio, text, visual and image data. Local councils and planners can then make improvements to the design of the local area, based on the suggestions made.

  • There is no password required, only the email address is required.
  • The 3 basic functions of the app are: create pins on a map, add data to those pins, view all pins
  • You can view an instructional view here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FglrwEdVhy

The Liveability App is available, free, for an iPhone/iPad or Android phone/tablet. Instructions and links for downloading the Liveability App are available in the Home Mods website.

System Architecture

We have developed an easy-to-use app that allows general users (including senior citizens and people with disability) to enter information about issues and potential improvements in their neighbourhood. The feedback that can be imported as a numeric score to rate the safety or user friendliness, by providing comments, photos and audio commentary. Feedback data is stored and organised using a data model that enables aggregation, analysis and comparison with standards.. The user feedback is then mapped and visualised so that other users can view it. The feedback is then dispatched to the relevant councils, so they can evaluate and decide upon course of action.

 Diagram showing 3 current interactions of the Liveability App and 2 future outcomes. 1: User gives feedback via the App by sending text, photo or audio commentary about an issue in their neighbourhood. 2: The Liveability App collects feedback and sends it to its server. 3: Data is stored for research purposes aimed at giving input to government for their consideration. Outcome A: Councils review research analysis and take action. Outcome B: Community is informed about issues in their neighbourhood and engage with local authorities