AURIN puts research insights on the map

By on 10 May, 2016

The AURIN Map showing the Accessibility Remoteness Index Australia in Perth, WA.


Australia’s urban intelligence network AURIN has spatially enabled its datasets, bringing their legacy of providing access to the latest research into the spatial realm.

The AURIN Map provides open access to datasets exposing how social, economic, transport and health issues vary from suburb to suburb.

Currently, the AURIN Map provides just a taste of what’s available through the AURIN Portal, including population statistics, census data and the patterns of social trends. Analytical and modelling tools at the AURIN Portal can also be used to analyse the data and use it to model and test policy ideas and urban planning decisions to make our cities more liveable and more equitable.

“Anyone can use the AURIN Map,” says AURIN director Andrew Dingjan, “be it a family with teenagers wanting to check the public transport access of areas they’re considering moving to, a business seeking hot spots of high income but low access to financial services, or even a charity wanting to know the areas where children are at risk of social exclusion.”

“It can help researchers understand the relationships between social issues and, for example, health and educational outcomes. And it can help governments and corporations identify new business opportunities and areas to target investment from the public purse.”

This is something Dr Iain Butterworth can attest to as Manager Liveability and Sustainability at Eastern & Southern Metropolitan Health, in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

“Many people might think that urban planning and health policy come together just to decide where to put hospitals,” says Iain. “It’s a focus on treating sickness once it emerges. I’m more interested in reducing people’s need for these services in the first instance.”

The department’s Place, Health and Liveability research partnership with the University of Melbourne has identified seven key policy domains that can help keep the whole population well. These are: (1) Transport; (2) Walkability; (3) Food; (4) Housing; (5) Public open space; (6) Employment; and (7) Social infrastructure, leisure facilities and education.

“In line with Plan Melbourne’s commitment to creating ‘Liveable Communities and Neighbourhoods’, my focus in on planning good, healthy places that keep people well and out of the acute health system,” explains Iain.

“The AURIN Map and the other resources on the AURIN platform can help planners do this. The AURIN Map in particular is a really important development because it visualises how things like inequality or liveability influence health. And it makes this information accessible, which is helpful for engaging other stakeholders and sectors outside my own.”

Currently the map includes:

  • Population statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics,
  • Data on accessibility to core services (such as health, education, financial services and public transport) from the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre at the University of Adelaide,
  • Social vulnerability and unemployment data from NATSEM at the University of Canberra, and
  • VAMPIRE Index data, providing a snapshot of vulnerability to financial stress from changes in petrol prices and/or mortgage interest rates.

The AURIN Map is based on and complements the Australian Government’s NationalMap, developed as a website for map-based access to spatial data from Australian government agencies.

Visit the AURIN Map by clicking here.

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