Although it will be possible to quantify the benefits of some infrastructure on a basic cost-benefit analysis (for example: calculating if private water or embedded energy infrastructure is more cost effective than using public utilities), other benefits, however, require data to estimate advantages over the medium to long term relative to a benchmark or baseline.

Green Star, NABERS and BASIX rating and certification systems are built on assumptions extrapolated from acquired data sets.

• Green Star – a rating system for assessing the sustainability of new buildings.

• NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) NABERS is a national rating system that measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings, tenancies and homes.

• BASIX (Building Sustainability Index) BASIX is an initiative of the NSW Government to ensure homes are designed to be more energy and water efficient.


Google defines Big Data as: “Extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions.”

The key point about Big Data is that it is essentially a roll-up of lots of pieces of small data to point to a trend or pattern. These trends assist in the benchmarking, planning and assessment of infrastructure requirements.

The Australian Urban infrastructure Network (AURIN see: https://aurin. collect data sets from a wide range of public and private sector data providers. These data sets include:

• Demographics, Social Indicators and Economic Activity

• Urban Design and Housing

• Health and Quality of Life

• Infrastructure and Transport


Big data sets are useful for high level modelling and planning at a Government level, however the data in a Smart City can be acquired in real time and utilized to deliver short, medium- and long-term outcomes within a development.

Guest blog submitted by Opticomm