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Topics of interest | Submission guidelines | Important dates | Organizers and Chairs | Program Committee

Social sustainability is increasingly becoming a priority for city-makers, but time-consuming and expensive data collection makes measuring outcomes challenging. New technologies, services, and an increasingly connected lifestyle have to lead to unprecedented volumes of data being available. Such data can provide powerful insights into the social life of neighbourhoods and subsequently inform decision-making the processes for government, businesses, communities, and individuals. This workshop brings together practitioners, designers and researchers with the goal of understanding local neighbourhoods on the basis of datasets in order to inform decision making processes. The one-day program includes lighting talks and activities to convey perspectives from architecture and urban planning and bring them together with the tools and methods of information retrieval and data science to work towards more socially sustainable public spaces.

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Topics of interest

The workshop will focus on 1) data, 2) tools, and 3) insights with a focus on decision making support for urban planning. Data. Which social sources are out there, and how can they be accessed?

Data: Unlike traditional data sources, social data, e.g., offers:

  • Data across socio-cultural boundaries
  • Hyper-local information
  • Real-time updates


  • How to apply data analytics to make sense of social data for decision making and urban planning.
  • Defining the distinct data options from an urban perspective.
  • How cities can become socially sustainable. Defining social sustainability as a place where communities can fulfil their needs to support their physical and mental well-being and support it for the next generations.
  • How to create a social data brief (data type, timing, source etc.)? Social data includes publicly available digital sources that are indicative of people’s social behaviours and lifestyle choices. Often unconventional, social data can come from a variety of sources, such as social media platforms, review & rating platforms, mapping platforms and event platforms.
  • The use of benchmarking in a city as a way of measuring the performance achieved in a neighbourhood or place compared to other neighbourhoods.


  • Understanding local places using the full scope of local neighbourhood assets and mapping out where people live, work and play.
  • Analysing social life while exploring how people interact with places through community events and popular spaces and see what activities and sites generate the most life and movement.
  • Interpreting community values based on local demographics and stories about what locals love and value.

Submission guidelines

  • Long papers: max. 12 pages
  • Work-in-progress reports: max. 6 pages

We accept both those participants who want to participate in the workshop and those who want to contribute by submitting their work or contribution for presentation. The latter are requested to prepare and submit a position paper about their research and link to the workshop theme (2-4 pages, in extended abstract format) by April 15 online.

Submission system is available at EasyChair.

Candidates will be asked to write about the challenges and opportunities they expect in the urban planning – social data scenario. The final set of presenting candidates will be selected on basis of the impactfulness of their work and the interest in the topic.

Important dates

  • April 15, 2019 – submission deadline for papers
  • May 15, 2019 – notification of acceptance/rejection
  • May 27, 2019 – submission of final papers (for presentation)
  • June 26-28, 2019 – the workshop

Organizers and Chairs

  • Esmeralda Garcia, an architect and urban planner responsible for Project Insights at Neighbourlytics
  • Gala Camacho Ferrari, a mathematician, optimisation expert and programmer working as Head of Analytics at Neighbourlytics
  • Jessica Christiansen-Franks, an urban planner and landscape architect and co-founder of Neighbourlytics
  • Lucinda Hartley, an urban designer, social entrepreneur, and co-founder at Neighbourlytics
  • Tilman Dingler, a research fellow and associate lecturer at The University of Melbourne

Program Committee

To be announced…