Jessica Christiansen-Franks

Urban Designer and Community profiling expert.

Co-Founder & CEO – Neighbourlytics


Session title

Where you’re (probably) going wrong with understanding place identity.


We know that tapping into the unique value proposition of a place is key to creating a strong & authentic place brand.  Unfortunately, putting this theory into practice is often challenging.

Intensive place research is a critical step in all place projects. However, in the current context of increasing expectations, tighter timelines and limited budgets, suitable research can be hard to achieve on every project.

In this session, Jessica Christiansen-Franks, CEO and Founding Director of Neighbourlytics, will share three common mistakes made in place measurement. Jessica will share practical steps for crafting a distinct and authentic identity for any local place, irrespective of time or financial constraints.


Jessica Christiansen-Franks is an award-winning technology leader, unlocking the power of big data and social analytics to transform cities around the world. As CEO and Founding Director of urban analytics company Neighbourlytics, Jess has combined cutting-edge data science with decades of experience in urban design, to reimagine the future of citymaking and property development.

Jess co-founded Neighbourlytics in 2017, as digital transformation was starting to shape the future of citymaking and urban design. Now used by the majority of Australia’s leading property developers, asset managers, and urban planners, Neighbourlytics’ proprietary technology fills a critical data gap, revealing insights into the unique local identity of neighbourhoods. The ground-breaking technology has scaled rapidly, today providing data and insights for more than 20,000 neighbourhoods across twelve different countries. The platform allows users to track the lifestyle footprints of neighbourhoods in real time and understand the changing social value of key assets and precincts, in order to create places people love and feel connected to.

A qualified urban designer and landscape architect, Jess has dedicated her career to understanding the social implications of urbanisation, including identity construction in existing and emerging communities and the creation of social capital and connection. Prior to Neighbourlytics, Jess spent 15 years driving innovation across the property industry, working with companies, governments, institutions and civil society across Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, India, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. She has worked on some of the world’s most complex and notable urban development projects, including Ho Chi Minh City BRT Transport and Land Use Study, the Port Melbourne Waterfront Urban Design Framework, and Brisbane’s Vibrant Laneways and Small Scale Spaces Strategy.

A respected leader in her field, Jess has held various board and advisory positions including on the Smart Cities Council and the Placemaking Leadership Council. She is a member of the Planning Institute of Australia, and continues to be a trusted voice on innovation and digital transformation, and human-centred design across the industry.

Social: TW @JL_Christiansen   @Neighbourlytics