City Futures Research Centre Arts, Design and Architecture

Household infrastructure spending: new dashboard launched


What do Australian households spend on infrastructure – water and sewerage, energy, transport and telecommunications? And what do they think about infrastructure quality, accessibility and affordability?

A new dashboard launched by researchers at City Futures Research Centre and Astrolabe Group allows users to explore data about infrastructure costs and perceptions in Australian states and capital cities. Available via City Futures’ CityViz page, the Household Infrastructure Spending Dashboard uses the data analytics platforms ArcGIS Online, Map Story and Tableau to present in a new way the analysis reported by the research partners to the Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019.

As well as showing differences between states and cities in average costs and perceived quality, accessibility and affordability, the dashboard allows quick comparisons of different data sets. A number of tools were used together to show infrastructure data in ways that are much easier to access and understand for people who don’t use data on a day to day basis. The dashboard has also allowed us to look at data that couldn’t be included in the project’s original report, in particular differences between capital cities, and dynamically shows trend changes over time.

The dashboard provides information about the following topics:

  • Household Expenditure Survey (HES);
  • Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA);
  • Perceptions of the quality, accessibility and affordability of various infrastructure services; and
  • Household Weekly Expense on Water and Sewerage.

The dashboard was a collaborative project between university and private sector researchers, leveraging a diverse range of skills to deliver robust analysis, key insights and new approaches to data visualisation. Seeing information usually presented in long reports in this dynamic format can bring a lot of value to end-users. The collaboration allowed the university to bring its technical expertise to projects that have real life implications, a way of working that we hope to see more of in coming years.

UNSW team members: Dr Vivien ShiDr Ori GudesProf Chris PettitAssociate Prof Hoon Han, and Dr Simone Zarpelon Leao. ASTROLABE GROUP team members: Dr Kim JohnstoneMatthew Tingand Vanessa Leung.