Project Fact Sheet

Australian cities are going through a transition, with a clear priority to make more productive, sustainable, liveable centres. This project follows on from previous SBEnrc research which examined how to deliver better connected and integrated cities using land development opportunities and how emerging public transport technologies such as the Trackless Tram could unlock this. This project will create a framework from world’s best practice principles, tools and governance models, tested against a number of Australian case studies for sustainable centres of tomorrow. The improved value outcomes of such urban design will complement the work done on transit enhanced value. The framework will establish how such design can accelerate public and private investment decisions for urban centres and integrated transit technology that are more people and place friendly.


The specific objectives of this project are to:

  1. Identify a framework of world’s best practice principles, tools and governance models that will help accelerate the transformation of urban centres into being more people and place-oriented.
  2. Identify how innovations in transit technology (such as Trackless Trams and autonomous shuttles), affordable housing and place-making, can be integrated into these urban transformation projects to help improve the value outcome of such projects.
  3. Examine the most appropriate delivery mechanisms for the above as an integrated package.
  4. Test and refine the above framework on city centres and sub-centres across Australia to identify how they can be transformed as part of the growing need to revitalise existing urban areas.

Industry Outcomes

This project will:

  1. Enhance understanding and build the capacity of planners, developers and relevant agencies in best practice approaches to making our cities more liveable and vibrant.
  2. Deliver a framework of principles, tools and governance models to help guide better investment decisions around revitalisation of urban centres and how new transit technology can unlock this.
  3. Provide clear advice to decision makers on how innovations in transit technology, affordable housing and place-making can be activated to achieve such transformations.
  4. Provide case studies to inform better practice by the sharing of real experiences, thereby assisting planners and other agencies in how to take up the new opportunities in urban revitalisation.


Documents for Downloading

The following documents provide additional detail regarding this current research, including project outcomes to date:

Fact Sheet

Sustainable Centres of Tomorrow: People and Place (400kb, November 2018)

Industry Reports

  Final Industry Report (April 2020, 4Mb)

Research Reports

Developing a Transit Activated Corridor – the Wyndham Case Study (November 2020, 1Mb)

Making Good Places (July 2020, 1Mb)

Trackless Trams in Perth Spatial Network Analysis for Multimodal Urban Transport Systems (SNAMUTS) Report (January 2020, 10Mb)

Sustainable Centres of Tomorrow: A Precinct Design Framework of Principles and Practices, a Literature Review (September 2019, 1Mb)

FAQs report on Trackless Trams (11 May 2020, 1Mb)
Trackless Trams in Wyndham Spatial Network Analysis for Multimodal Urban Transport Systems (SNAMUTS) Report (October 2019, 13Mb)
Public Transport Technical Tour – Summary Report (September 2019, 3Mb)

Case Studies

Case study 1: Townsville Metro: Unlocking Urban Potential through Improving a Key Transit Corridor (June 2020, 2Mb)

Case study 2: Developing a Transit Activated Corridor – the Liverpool Case Study (August 2020, 2Mb)

Case study 3: Trackless Trams and Transit Activated Corridors in Perth – Mid-Tier Transit and Urban Regeneration –Overview Report (August 2020, 3Mb)

Case study 4: Trackless Trams and Transit Activated Corridors in Perth – Mid-Tier Transit and Urban Regeneration – Core Report (August 2020, 7Mb)


Sustainable Centres of Tomorrow – Project Summary and Case Studies (July 2020)
Case Study 1: City of Townsville ‘Smart Link’
Case Study 2: City of Liverpool ’21st Century Digital Corridor’
Case Study 3: Wyndham City, Melbourne ‘Connecting the Fringe’
Case Study 4: Perth Consortium ‘Working Together’


Engineers Australia Transport Australia Society Webinar (June 2020, 4Mb)

Sustainable Centres of Tomorrow, presented by Associate Professor Cheryl Desha and Associate Professor Sacha Reid, SBEnrc Boardroom Briefing, Brisbane (August 2019, 5Mb)

Transport for Achieving the 1.50C Transformation Agenda 实现1.5摄氏度转型议程的交通创新, presented by Prof Peter Newman, World Transport Convention, Beijing, China, 13-16 June 2019

Prof Peter Newman presenting to 6000 delegates at World Transport Convention, Beijing











Could trackless trams replace light rail?, 11 March 2019, Curtin University Website

Trackless trams: a road to Damascus vision beyond the traditional – Prof Peter Newman, 29 June 2019, Driven Media (includes podcast and transcript)

Train, bus, or something new? Australian Professor talks trackless trams, written by Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) field representative Sean Tubbs covers the “Trackless Trams: A Transformative Opportunity for Charlottesville” event hosted by PEC during the Tom Tom festival (April 2019).

Are trackless trams here to help solve our light rail problems?, 19 March 2019, create website


Peter Newman, Mike Mouritz, Marie Verschuer, Sebastian Davies-Slate, Savindi Caldera, Cheryl Desha and Sacha Reid (2019) Trackless Trams and Australian Urban Fabric. Presented at State of Australian Cities Conference, Dec 2019.

Savindi Caldera, Cheryl Desha, Sacha Reid, Peter Newman and Mike Mouritz (2020) Principles of Design for ensuring Sustainable Urban Centres. Paper presented at 1st Asia Pacific Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems Conference, Gold Coast, April 2020.

Peter Newman, Sebastian Davies-Slate, Daniel Conley, Karlson Hargroves and Mike Mouritz (2020) From TOD to TAC: The Transport Policy Shift to Transit Activated Corridors along Main Roads with New Technology Transit Systems. Submitted to the Journal – Transport Policy.

Peter Newman, Karlson Hargroves, Sebastian Davies-Slate, Daniel Conley, Marie Verschuer, Mike Mouritz, Dorji Yangka (2019) ‘The Trackless Tram: Is it the Transit and City Shaping Catalyst We Have Been Waiting for?’ Journal of Transportation Technologies, 2019, 9, 31-55