Future Food hub coming to Western Sydney

Future Food hub coming to Western Sydney

Future Food System‘s multi-criteria mapping and scenario tools will help stakeholders design a sustainable future food hub in Western Sydney, for all Australians.

The CRC’s Western Sydney Agrifood Mapping and Analytics project’s scoping stage – which began in June 2020 – has resulted in a detailed database and scenario modelling tools for food industry development in the region.

With funding from CRC partner Liverpool City Council, a team of data-analytics and urban-planning experts at UNSW’s City Analytics facility and City Futures Research Institute will collect food-industry-related data from numerous sources and use it to produce multi-layered 3D digital maps.

Other CRC partners involved in steering the project include NSW Farmers and the Sydney Regional Development Authority.

The project will provide the tools needed to help key industry, government and community stakeholders plan an advanced specialised food-industry cluster for the area, with farmers, food factories, logistics and other service providers working together to build scale in value-added domestic and export markets.

Evaluating planning scenarios at University of New South Wales’ City Analytics laboratory. Credit: UNSW

To ensure all parties have a clear, comprehensive picture of what’s there now – and what could be, the project team will establish databases covering current capability and boundary conditions, using a sophisticated ‘geo-design’ approach to build future scenarios, a first for the agrifood industry.

The geo-design approach combines data analytics with stakeholder discussion to build shared understanding, set goals and build consensus around factors such as zoning, transport and infrastructure staging.

The broader goal is to lay the foundations for the design of a streamlined, sustainable future food hub serving not only Liverpool and Sydney’s west but the entire metro area, the state’s growers and – thanks to its proximity to a curfew-free international airport – the world.

Down the track, a similar evidence-based, collaborative approach will be used to plan and design smart, sustainable food-industry clusters in locations across Australia.

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