Urban Studies Lab

Urban Studies Lab is an assembly of scholars and higher degree researchers, located within the School of Architecture and Built Environment of Queensland University of Technology (QUT), with similar or complementary research expertise on the various aspects of smart and sustainable cities and communities. The lab is founded and directed by Professor Tan Yigitcanlar.

The lab, at present, houses 10 PhD and MPhil researchers conducting investigations on various smart and sustainable urbanisation topics. Former 17 PhD and MPhil researchers of the lab, currently holding academic posts in prestigious Australian and overseas universities, and a dozen of senior academic affiliate members of the lab, from QUT and other eminent universities, provide an invaluable support and network opportunity to the researchers.

The lab has available positions for highly motivated prospective PhD researchers, particularly the ones with the following qualities:

  • Analytical ability
  • Problem solving skills
  • Excellent command in English academic writing
  • Knowledge through methodological training and work experience
  • Sound understanding in urban issues, technologies and research
  • Interest in undertaking the study in Thesis by Publication mode

An exemplar overview of a prospective PhD research is provided below.

Research topic:

  • Smart urban technology-driven approaches to sustainable development

Research title:

  • Prospects and constraints of smart urban technology-driven approaches to sustainable development

Research background:

  • The prospects of smart urban technologies range from expanding infrastructure capacity to generating new services, from reducing emissions to engaging the public, from minimising human errors to improved decision-making, and from supporting sustainable development to improving performances of commercial enterprises and cities. The most popular technologies in the context of cities include, but are not limited to, internet-of-things (IoT), autonomous vehicles (AV), Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), bigdata, 5G/6G, robotics, blockchain, cloud computing, 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), digital twins and artificial intelligence (AI). These disruptive technologies are critical in transforming our cities into smarter and more sustainable ones, and have the potential to address the complex urbanisation challenges of our time. Nonetheless, in the case of misapplication, these technologies can also generate undesired externalities to our cities and communities.

Research method:

  • Data collection, curation and analytics
  • Policy and best practice analyses
  • Qualitative, quantitative and spatial analyses
  • Scientometric, bibliometric and meta analyses
  • Survey and interview design and execution
  • Systematic literature reviews

Research outcome:

  • Insights into prospects and constraints of technology-driven approaches to sustainable development
  • Frameworks to conceptualise technology adoption to achieve sustainable outcomes
  • Roadmaps to operationalise technology adoption to achieve sustainable outcomes
  • Dissemination of study findings in academic, professional and online media outlets

Express your interest in joining Urban Studies Lab as a PhD researcher by emailing the followings to smartcity@qut.edu.au.

  • Your CV (including GPAs of all studies, publications, and research and work experience), and;
  • Your brief PhD research proposal (1,500 words including title, background, aim, research question/hypothesis, methodology, outcomes, deliverables and 10-12 most relevant references).


Completed Doctoral Theses

Mortoja, MD Golam (2022) Investigating the implications of peri-urbanisation on climate change risk: The cases of Brisbane and Dhaka [eprints.qut.edu.au/228181/]
Hewa Heliyagoda Kankanamge, Ruth Nayomi Elizabeth (2021) Opportunities and challenges of and perceptions on digital technology-driven innovative disaster management approaches [eprints.qut.edu.au/225937/]
Esmaeilpoorarabi, Niusha (2019) A methodological approach for establishing place quality in Australian innovation districts [eprints.qut.edu.au/132153/]
Mohamed, Mohd Afzan Bin (2019) Development and testing the validity of a methodological framework to assess transport-related social exclusion [eprints.qut.edu.au/133368/]
Shatu, Farjana M. (2019) Built environment impact on pedestrian route choice behaviour: Shortest vs. least directional change routes [eprints.qut.edu.au/126392/]
Pancholi, Surabhi A. (2018) A conceptual approach for place making in knowledge and innovation spaces: Case investigations from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney [eprints.qut.edu.au/120697/]
Perveen, Sajida (2018) Modelling the transport impacts of urban growth scenarios: A perspective from South East Queensland, Australia [eprints.qut.edu.au/122902/]
Kashfi, Syeed Anta (2016) Investigating variation in bus ridership rates within localised areas of a sub-tropical city [eprints.qut.edu.au/92993/]
Malekzadeh, Ali (2015) Measurement of transit network accessibility based on access stop choice behaviour [eprints.qut.edu.au/89767/]
Marques, Jamile Sabatini (2016) Reforming technology company incentive programs for achieving knowledge-based economic development:a Brazil-Australia comparative study [eprints.qut.edu.au/95386/]
Dizdaroglu, Didem (2013) A micro-level indexing model for the assessment of sustainable urban ecosystems [eprints.qut.edu.au/61864/]
Rashid, Kushairi (2013) A methodology to develop an urban transport disadvantage framework : the case of Brisbane, Australia [eprints.qut.edu.au/63657/]
Dur, Fatih (2012) The integrated land use and transportation indexing model : assessing the sustainability of the Gold Coast, Australia [eprints.qut.edu.au/54190/]
Gudes, Ori (2012) Developing a framework for planning healthy communities : the Logan Beaudesert health decision support system [eprints.qut.edu.au/50783/]
Teriman, Suharto (2012) Measuring neighbourhood sustainability : a comparative analysis of residential types in Malaysia [eprints.qut.edu.au/54679/]
Mahbub, S. M. Parvez Bin (2011) Impact of urban traffic and climate change on water quality from road runoff [eprints.qut.edu.au/47139/]

Completed Masters Theses

Michelam, Larissa Diana (2021) Contributions of international events on local development: the case of the knowledge cities world summit in Bento Gonçalves [https://bibliotecatede.uninove.br/handle/tede/2485]