Research Grants


The Kelvin Grove Urban Village is a heterogenous inner-city master-planned community that provides a unique chance to research the intersection of new media opportunities (e.g., internet and mobile phone applications) and the challenges of new urban developments. Using social network theory, the study will map the communicative ecologies of urban residents and the way they access and use the cultural, educational, and civic assets in their locale. The project will employ a new methodological approach that connects new media, community intervention and urban studies paradigms. The resulting cross-disciplinary framework designed to stimulate socio-economic innovation will lead to urban sustainability and healthier local economies.

The design of technological solutions to facilitate social interaction of urban residents is increasingly important for many countries. Mexico and South Africa are particularly prone to issues that stem from urban densification and a lack of adequate affordable housing. Governments look at ICT to take on a mediating and facilitating role. This proposal brings together the expertise of researchers from four continents in a two year collaborative study. The team will examine local case studies to prepare an international comparison of local community networking approaches.

This study will develop advanced knowledge of how urban neighbourhood communities can be assisted to grow in healthy ways by the use of new media and ICTs. By careful attention to cultural and social assets in the community, innovations will be engendered which enhance economic and social development. This will lead to greater social inclusion, fair access to and smart use of information and services, urban sustainability and healthier local economies. Understanding the opportunities afforded by digital augmentation of social networks will help Australians negotiate the complex web of daily choices, access a greater social safety net and participate in the socio‑cultural and socio‑economic life of their neighbourhood and city.