Carl Higgs

Carl Higgs is a research data scientist in the Healthy Liveable Cities Lab of the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University.

Having completed a Master of Public Health (epidemiology and biostatistics, 2015) and a Master of Biostatistics (2018) at the University of Melbourne, Carl has been involved in the development of methods for measurement of built environment exposures for local neighbourhoods using diverse data sources for research supporting equitable delivery of urban planning policy, in Australia and internationally.

Research highlights include:

  • developing methods for calculation of a spatial Urban Liveability Index, applying these methods for calculation of spatial measures for Australia’s capital cities as reported in the 2017 Creating Liveable Cities report (winning the 2019 Planning Institute of Australia national award for Cutting Edge Research & Teaching), and the 2018 National Liveability Project which calculated liveability indicators for residential addresses across Australia’s 21 largest cities, with measures included in the Australian Government’s National Cities Performance Framework;
  • the development of a framework for visualisation of the spatial distribution of urban liveability, which formed the basis of the Australian Urban Observatory, publicly launched in 2020;
  • and the extension of these methods globally with the Bangkok Liveability and Global Indicators projects.

Carl commenced a PhD (Computer Science) in 2020 to further research methods for identifying and modelling multi-dimensional data uncertainty in applied research to support improved inference in built environment analyses making use of OpenStreetMap as a source of open data.

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Related Content


Creating Liveable Cities in Australia – Scorecards

2018 (ongoing)

A scorecard and priority recommendations for Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane developed using results from the 'Creating Liveable Cities in Australia' (2017) report.

News & Blog


The average regional city resident lacks good access to two-thirds of community services, and liveability suffers

16 March 2020

The way our growing cities are planned and built is becoming ever more important in building healthy, liveable and sustainable communities.


Landmark liveability research wins at national planning awards

17 May 2019

Pioneering RMIT research that delivered the first true measurement of liveability in Australia’s capital cities has been recognised with a top planning award.


Rail access improves liveability, but all regional centres are not equal

13 June 2018

Our research on the liveability of regional cities in Victoria has identified an important element: liveability in these areas requires fast, reliable and frequent rail connections to capital cities.


Measuring, monitoring and translating urban liveability in Bangkok: Final Research Report

Amanda Alderton, Carl Higgs, Kornsupha Nitvimol, Associate Professor Melanie Davern, Joana Correia, Iain Butterworth, Professor Hannah Badland

An international case study with implications for Australian cities

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Urban design, transport, and health series

Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti, Anne Vernez Moudon, Melanie Lowe, Deepti Adlakha, Ester Cerin, Geoff Boeing, Carl Higgs

The Lancet Global Health

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