Live Q&A Event – Data-Driven Community Infrastructure Planning

Posted April 29, 2024

SGS Economics and Planning Comm Infra Event Data Article
  • Thursday 25 July 2024
  • Zoom Webinar
  • 12.30 pm – 1.30 pm (AEST)

With limited resources, shifting demographics, and ongoing reforms, local governments face increasingly complex decisions.

That's why harnessing data effectively is crucial. It helps leaders make informed choices that balance performance with community needs.

Join SGS Associate Liz Webster, demographer and social research specialist Simone Alexander, and Alison Saunders from the City of Greater Dandenong as they discuss:

    • The real-world benefits and hurdles of data-driven planning
    • Practical tips on what data to collect and how to collect it
    • Ways to seamlessly integrate data analysis into everyday decision-making

    This event is valuable for asset and service planners looking to learn from data specialists and industry leaders. It provides an opportunity to share insights and success stories, helping to build smarter and more resilient communities.

    Julian Szafraniec, SGS Principal and Partner, will moderate this event.

    Speakers Comm Infras Event High Res

    Liz Webster is an Associate at SGS Economics and Planning. She is trained in qualitative and quantitative research methods, and brings this mix of skillsets to understanding population needs, assessing infrastructure and housing requirements, and formulating policy responses. She leads interdisciplinary project teams of planners, economists, and data and spatial analysts in synthesising highly technical analysis with local insights and strategic objectives. She believes a strong evidence base should underpin policy and investment and sees the great potential that urban datasets, dashboards, and other tools have to better inform decision-making.

    Simone Alexander has over 25 years of experience working in demographic and social research roles. She has worked at all three levels of government, as well as the private sector. Simone is an advocate for using data and evidence to inform service planning. She is interested in places, how they change, and what makes them “tick”. At .id – the population experts, she prepared population forecasts and analysis for local councils across Australia. Most recently, she worked at Moonee Valley and Hobsons Bay City Councils. She prepared the Community Services and Infrastructure Plan 2020-2030 at Hobsons Bay. At Moonee Valley, she prepared several background reports to support community infrastructure planning. She is now semi-retired but still applies her skills and knowledge to blogging, reporting writing and mentorship.

    Alison Saunders is an experienced asset management professional. Her passion is bringing out the best in people and providing creative solutions for the community to ensure long-term sustainability. Her inclusive style focuses on listening to the needs of all stakeholders and negotiating solutions that are effective in multiple areas. She brings a wealth of experience across a wide range of industries, including accounting, retail, hospitality, shipbuilding, IT, project management, and government.

    Julian Szafraniec is a Principal and Partner at SGS Economics and Planning and the National Leader of Data and Spatial Analysis. Julian advocates for data-driven policy development as an economist to support efficient and sustainable communities and places. His aim is to collaborate across a range of sectors facilitating the exchange of ideas to understand the links and opportunities between them. He sees new data and technology as essential to how we understand and plan for our cities and regions in the future. Julian’s expertise has been instrumental in advising all tiers of government and the private sector, contributing to informed policy-making and investment strategies spanning housing, transportation, social infrastructure, and the broader economy.

    This event is being held jointly by SGS Economics and Planning and LGiU Australia.

    LGiU Australia is a local government think tank committed to an innovative and sustainable local government sector. As a member-led organisation, its purpose is to share ideas and best practices, encourage innovation and collaboration, and develop research that drives the sector forward. LGiU Australia is a partnership between SGS Economics and Planning and not-for-profit think tank LGiU.

    SGS Economics and Planning is an urban and public policy consultancy and certified B Corp. We work so that all Australians can benefit from equitable and sustainable cities and regions. Our evidence-based insights help to understand how places and economies function, assess what projects and programs work, and plan future places and precincts.


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