Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures - projects

Finish Date Project
OngoingBeyond behaviour change
The Beyond Behaviour Change research area includes a cluster of projects based on the application of social practice theory to environmental policies and programs. Projects to date have sought to understand the socio-technical positioning of air travel in corporate organisations as an expected and normal way to meet, the ways in which smart metering demand strategies interact and intergrate with householders' everyday practices of heating and cooling, and how aspirations and expectations for housing are changing on Melbourne's suburban and coastal fringe.
30 June 2014Comparative regional policy: Europe, Asia, Australia
This project is a comparative study of regional policy in Europe, Australia and in selected Asian countries which aims to inform regional policy and program development in Australia.
15 June 2012Cost-effective methods for evaluation of neighbourhood-renewal programs
The aim of this research project is to fill this existing void in the evidence base by utilizing cost-effective quantitative methods to measure the effectiveness of neighbourhood renewal in fulfilling its objectives.
31 December 2012Design-led decision support for regional climate adaptation
Given the fact that climate change will have an impact even if reducing carbon emissions is very successful, designing regions in a way they become adaptive to climate change is necessary.
15 September 2012Housing security: consequences of underemployment
This research project aims to provide a comprehensive population-wide analysis of the consequences of time-related underemployment as it relates to different housing tenures and household groups.
1 April 2012Housing supply bonds: a suitable instrument to channel investment towards affordable housing in Australia?
This research aims to develop a sustainable and low-cost private financing instrument, based on the adaptation of Housing Construction Convertible Bonds, in order to expand the supply of affordable rental housing and contribute towards Australian housing needs in the long term.
31 August 2014J2SI evaluation (assisting the chronically homeless)
This project will conduct a randomised control study of two different service intervention for the chronically homeless.
30 April 2013Living change: adaptive housing responses to climate change in the town camps of Alice Springs
The project has three primary research objectives: 1. To identify current adaptive practices of residents in newly provided or refurbished houses in three Alice Springs town camps in relation to comfort control and healthy-living practices, and highlight resident vulnerabilities to extreme weather events (particularly increased incidents of hot weather), and rising energy and water costs. 2. To identify tenancy management practices that increase or reduce vulnerabilities to climate change scenarios for town camp residents and promote the integration of sustainable living practices into existing tenancy management and future public housing provision. 3. To build the existing research capacity of the Tangentyere Research Hub to include energy and water use studies, and sustainable design through technical and social practice research. 
31 March 2015Opportunity spaces: community engagement in the planning, use and governance of shared school facilities
Opportunity Spaces is a three year project which will research the effective use of schools as community hubs. Current investment by Australian governments in school facilities is a key aspect of educational reform, local infrastructure provision and social policy. This project will focus on joint school-community shared use facilities in Victoria, locating Victorian developments within wider Australian and international policy and practice. The Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is a research partner in the project.
30 June 2012Pilot study: NRCL community development site
The aim of this project is to realize an innovative new form of sustainable development on Melbourne’s urban fringe.
31 May 2012Place-making applied research
This study is exploring the role of place-making in ensuring that urban renewal projects integrate economic competitiveness, social inclusion and environmental sustainability, in different urban settings (inner suburbs, middle-ring development, urban-fringe low density), but especially in relation to urban renewal.
30 June 2012Resident third party objections and appeals against planning aplications: implications for medium density and social housing
This project focuses on residents’ concerns about changing neighbourhoods.
30 June 2012School-community learning partnerships
School-community partnerships in peri-urban regions have the potential to contribute to the ‘community resilience trinity’ of social, human and natural capital. Eighteen case studies of successful learning partnerships have been conducted in and around Melbourne, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Cairns.
31 December 2015Selandra Rise: evaluating a master-planned community designed for health and wellbeing
In order to explore how and whether planning for health can lead to better outcomes for residents of new communities, this project explores the planned, emerging and accidental health outcomes of Selandra Rise, a master-planned community in Melbourne, Australia.
8 August 2014Spatial network analysis for multimodal urban transport systems: planning for best practice public transport networks
Through exploring the concept of accessibility in relation to best-practice public transport networks, the research will contribute to the understanding of the effects of transport policies and programs on the spatial distribution of housing.
31 December 2012Sustainable families
The project involves a collaboration between RMIT researchers and the Kildonan Uniting Care team. The project team is adopting a 'social practices' framework for understanding householder practices and to informing the types of responses required to assist householders live more sustainably.
30 April 2012Think tank: adapting housing aspirations and expectations on the coastal suburban and regional fringe
The challenge for this project is to address directly how and why housing aspirations and expectations are changing in relation to house design, size, layout, fixtures and furnishings, and what impact this has on climate-change-adaptation issues and opportunities. The project will have a practical orientation, focused on identifying avenues for altering or facilitating adaptive expectations and aspirations.

The projects listed above are current or recently completed.
For information on past projects, please click here.

Finish Date Project
1 September 2010Accelerating sustainable buildings in Local Government
The project commenced with the premise that local government practitioners can make changes within areas of their control to enable sustainable outcomes for their organisations.
1 September 2010Adaptive learning networks for sustainable procurement
The project continues work begun in the School of Management to develop improved sustainable procurement (SP) outcomes in public and private sector organizations through a program of adaptive learning and networks.
29 December 2007Australian launch: the International Centre for Housing and Urban Economics
To cement relationship with our partners Reading University, UK; Uppsala University, Sweden and Delft University, Netherlands
2 September 2010Australians’ attitudes towards factory farming
This study explored Australian attitudes toward factory farming and the consumption of factory farmed products in light of the impact of intensive animal agriculture on the environment, community health, animal welfare and its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.
31 July 2011Benchmarking social infrastructure: a guide for shaping communities for wellbeing
This project aims to assist in the delivery of responsive, flexible, well-resourced and timely human services for Victorian peri-urban communities to help avoid social problems that can lead to entrenched disadvantage in the future.
2 January 2010Bushfire community safety
A suite of projects is directed at improving community education for bushfire preparedness among residents in high-risk bushfire areas. Focused on the question of "What works in bushfire community safety: how, for whom and in what settings?", a nation-wide set of case studies conducted between 2005 and 2009 was used to develop an overarching framework and methodology for planning evaluating bushfire community safety and education programs.
31 December 2007Collaboration with Research Institute for the Built and Human Environment (BuHu), Salford University, Great Britain
To prepare an ARC Linkage International ARC Social Sciences Collaboration funding application, with SURF, Salford University as partners for 2008
30 December 2009Dematerialising urban households for long-term greenhouse savings
To identify realistic strategies for reducing the amount of household commodities entering landfill.
1 September 2011Drivers, attitudes and barriers to ‘green’ investment by landlords of private rental properties
This research project has been undertaken in two stages. The research provides a body of knowledge regarding the practices of landlordism and the constraints and opportunities these present in retrofitting rental housing for climate change.
1 September 2010Education for sustainability
The project analyses the processes that can enhance inter-sectoral collaboration in lifelong learning for sustainability and develops and evaluates strategies for influencing learning for sustainability throughout Australia and, cross-culturally, within the Asia-Pacific region.
1 January 2011Exploring the influence of cultural background on first and second generation migrants’ use of energy and water in the home
There is a strong push from governments and environment organisations for households to reduce their consumption of water and energy, and to improve the environmental sustainability of their lifestyles.
1 September 2011Household sustainability assessment tools
The Australian Greenhouse Calculator, developed by Adjunct Professor Alan Pears for the Environmental Protection Association (EPA, VIC), formed the starting point for development of Australia’s first comprehensive energy and water and greenhouse gas assessment tool for Australian households.
1 January 2011Improving housing outcomes for young people leaving state out of home care
The project is focusing on developing a new understanding of the housing needs of young people leaving care.
29 January 2008Indigenous housing
To prepare an ARC Linkage application (Nov 2007), with the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australian Housing Departments as partners.
2 January 2011Industry education for sustainability (IEfS) project
The purpose of the IEfS project is to pilot the igreen and Y Green programs in selected organisations to support employment and educational career pathways in green jobs for young people in the City of Whittlesea.
29 December 2007Infrastructure scoping study: sustainable built environments in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
The proposed project is in conjunction with the Climate Change Adaptation programme of the Global Cities Institute and in partnership with the Viet Nam Green Building Council. VGBC-GCI research collaboration will speed the development of sustainable/adaptive engineering and architecture in Viet Nam. There are two initial Phase I elements which will produce peer-reviewed publications and lead to funding from a range of institutions, allowing continuation and amplification.
1 September 2011Integration of building assemblies and materials scorecard (BAMS) and Rating Tools
The BAMS methodology provides an opportunity to establish a definitive method and reporting format to assess the environmental performance of building assemblies.
1 September 2011Investigative panel on a socially sustainable housing system
Key outputs will be a final report detailing the collective views of panel members on policy options for reducing the negative impacts of housing market volatility on vulnerable households; a summary report and an AHURI seminar comparing the outcomes of the two studies (Australia and UK) and considering ‘lessons learnt’ in each country and their implications for each other.
31 May 2011Labelling for recyclability
This project reviewed recycling labels on packaging in Australia and recommended strategies to improve both their legal compliance and their effectiveness in supporting recycling programs. The review focused on labelling for mechanical material recycling of consumer packaging (primarily collected at kerbside).
1 January 2011Learning for carbon neutral communities
The project commenced with community based greenhouse assessments and renewable resource assessments to determine the technical potential for carbon neutral communities.
1 September 2011Learning for sustainability in higher education
This project aims is to identify influences and processes for promoting organizational learning for sustainability in complex organizations.
2 September 2011Life cycle assessment of beverage container systems
This peer reviewed research project developed an updated life cycle inventory for aluminium cans, and also compares this beverage container system to other similar packaging formats (glass and PET) across their respective life cycles.
29 December 2010Lifetime affordable housing
The research develops lifecycle costing methods to provide an evidence base for low-carbon residential forms, designs, locational efficiencies and policies.
1 September 2011National heritage and sustainability project: residential buildings
The aim of the project is to provide empirical research evidence in the form of a comparison between life cycle embodied and operational energy performance, greenhouse gas emissions, water and other environmental impacts of a range of heritage building designs compared to ‘improved’ retrofitted designs where heritage values are preserved.
31 December 2010Other countries’ policy initiatives to meet the housing needs of asset-poor older persons: implications for Australia
This study will conduct a systematic review of the international academic literature and policy documents concerning government and financial institution initiatives to meet the housing needs of asset-poor older citizens.
29 December 2007Partnership with City of Melbourne and Urban Innovations Institute, Netherlands
To enhance relationships with potential key research partners, the City of Melbourne and the Urban Innovations Institute, Netherlands
1 January 2011Planning reform, land release and the supply of housing
This study aims to establish the link between land use planning policies and mechanisms and the form of housing supplied by examining details of both planning policy and housing supply in the state of Victoria over a time period covering two significant policy regime shifts.
27 December 2010Remaking suburbia
What successful interventions can be made in overcoming institutional, social, economic and cultural barriers to enhance environmental performance of home improvements in Australia?
1 January 2011Resilient urban systems: a socio-technical study of community scale climate change adaptation initiatives
Resilient energy and water systems are required to reduce Victoria’s vulnerability to climate change, which if not addressed, could have serious impacts on health and wellbeing.
31 December 2011Resilient urban systems: a study of community-scale climate change adaptation initiatives
Resilient energy and water systems are required to reduce Victoria’s vulnerability to climate change, which, if not addressed, could have serious impacts on health and wellbeing.
2 September 2010Review of Melbourne water community education programs
This project involved a review of Melbourne Water Community Education Programs with the aim to advise on the development of future learning experiences to not only increase community knowledge about river health, water supply and sewerage issues, but also inspire and encourage the community to take an active role in protecting and improving the health of catchments and waterways.
28 December 2008Spatial network analysis of multimodal urban transport systems (SNAMUTS): a comparison of Melbourne and Hamburg
To examine and quantify the efficacy of the land use-public transport interplay in metropolitan Melbourne and Hamburg at various points in time over the last 40 years.
1 September 2010Sustainable procurement in the public and private sector: A case study in Malaysia
The aim of this study is exploring the nature and extent of current level of Sustainable Procurement (SP) practices, identifying the opportunities to implement SP, what barriers they have encountered and what the executive/senior manager is thinking, and how they are acting, in relation to the SP challenges we all face.
30 September 2011Sustaining homeownership in the 21st century: emerging policy concerns
The research aims to chart the challenges to homeownership in the twenty-first century, and to explore the possible policy responses to these challenges. The research will develop ideas about how housing policy might reform the tax treatment of homeowners in ways that might implement the goals sought by direct housing assistance measures.
2 September 2011The city as a curated space
The research study is considering the current global and local social climate of the culture of cities and how this impacts upon the role of the visual artist in the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney. This research evaluates the current climate and will be important in documenting the current status of the methods which have been used to date in planning the city as a curated space. The study considers and rethinks contemporary issues in the area of curating art exhibitions in the urban environment and is intended to assist those working in the area of cultural planning in the future.
2 September 2009The corporate take-over of retailing in major Australian cities
The project has included compilation of data from the shopping centre reports produced by the Property Council of Australia which profiles corporately owned centres.
1 January 2011The environmental sustainability of Australia’s private rental housing stock
The Australian Government, in partnership with State and Territory and local governments, is currently committed towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, principally through the establishment of a Carbon Emissions Trading (CET) scheme.
2 January 2009The role of art for social and cultural transitioning toward sustainability
This project explored how the social and cultural transition toward a sustainable Australia can be facilitated through art by examining, through the lens of systems thinking, implementation and outcome of a regional arts program titled ‘Fresh & Salty’.
30 December 2007The urban 45: ideas for Australia’s cities
The aim of the "Urban 45" is to produce brief and clear statements of the problems of Australian cities and possible public interventions that could be practically undertaken to move us further forward.
31 August 2011Understanding the patterns, characteristics and trends in the housing sector labour force in Australia
This study aims to enhance understanding of the characteristics, patterns and trends of the housing sector labour market and to ensure the sector is better equipped to meet the future needs of the Australian housing system.
29 December 2009Urban energy and water infrastructures and everyday practices: bridging the divide
The aims of this project are to: Disseminate new knowledge to energy and water government departments, environmental agencies and utilities (stakeholders) regarding the ways in which energy and water infrastructures shape norms and practices; Utilise feedback from these stakeholders obtained during a series of tailored workshops to write two refereed journal articles; and Develop strategic research links with stakeholders interested in transitioning towards an alternative resource and demand management approach.
30 December 2009Vietnam scoping study
To establish relationships of trust between RMIT researchers and urban authorities in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in order to be in a position to be a partner of choice and seek collaborative research projects funded by development agencies, ADB, etc. There will be an emphasis on sharing experiences between these Vietnamese cities, the City of Melbourne and Melbourne local councils in order to establish cross-city learning and capacity building.
2 September 2010Visual methods for the sustainability discourse
This project sought to broaden and contextualise the use of visual methods as a medium to generate knowledge and serve as a research tool within the sustainability context.
1 January 2011What works? Letting young people speak for themselves
Using new technologies such as podcasts this study seeks to understand what has helped young people make the transition from care to independent living.
1 January 2011Youth leadership for sustainable consumption
This project aims at further developing the community capacity building program called ‘otherWISE’.