Step Change Cities Partnership

People walk down rainbow stairs in Sydney

City planners across the globe are responding to the key challenges of our time, including climate change, transition to net zero, transport redesign, alongside enabling equal access to jobs, homes and services. Ensuring our communities understand and have confidence to engage with urban design concepts and terminology will promote a deeper connection with the Commission’s work and with the need for positive change.

The project

Partnering with urban planning advocates Studio THI, Cairns Regional Council, the City of Ballarat and Penrith City Council, the Greater Cities Commission supported a survey of more than 750 residents alongside a series of workshops with our partners in local and state government, advisory firms, developers, universities and peak bodies to assess urban planning ‘literacy’. The survey and workshops examined how much our communities understand and are connected to important urban planning concepts.


  • An Urban Change Readiness Index for councils, government departments, and the sector more broadly, for developing and implementing urban preparedness strategies.
  • Improved community understanding of and engagement in major urban planning reforms.
  • Important data that will be incorporated into city planning and policy development.
  • Published case study.

Priority research areas

Program partners

Find out more about our research

The complete research strategy, including our priorities, approach, partners and information on our innovation districts, is available below.

Contact our team

Contact the research team with partnership opportunities and queries at: