Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019 - School of Global, Urban & Social Studies - RMIT University

 
Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019 - School of Global, Urban & Social Studies - RMIT University
Higher Degree by
       Research Projects
       2019

       School of Global, Urban
       & Social Studies

       Version 4.0 July 2019

1   GUSS Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019
Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019 - School of Global, Urban & Social Studies - RMIT University
Contents

       About the School ...................................................................................................................................5
       The GUSS Higher Degrees by Research Program.................................................................................6
       How to apply...........................................................................................................................................6
       Centre for Urban Research.....................................................................................................................7
       CUR HDR Projects for 2019
                Low carbon urban governance and urban sustainability transitions.................................................8
                Governance for regional sustainability transitions.............................................................................8
                Climate Change hotspots: examining adaptation-mitigation intersections........................................9
                Of what, to what, and who gets to say? The political, institutional challenges of adaptation and
                transformation.................................................................................................................................9
                Disasters, development, and resilience..........................................................................................10
                Integrated urban water governance for transitions to sustainable, adaptive urban development: a
                case study of the Kalkallo precinct................................................................................................10
                How might adaptation planning support transformation?...............................................................11
                Planning, climate and agrifood systems in metropolitan regions.....................................................11
                Implementing the SDGs: Regions, disruptions and enablers..........................................................12
                The relationship between campus landscape components and students’ psychological
                restoration.....................................................................................................................................12
                Critical urban governance..............................................................................................................13
                Urban experiments accelerating urban sustainability transitions: Evaluating UN Global Compact
                Cities programme projects.............................................................................................................13
                Transforming urban governance....................................................................................................14
                Rethinking good governance.........................................................................................................14
                Hotter and Smarter? How Does Smart City Governance Engage with Hotter Cities?.....................15
                Trust, Technology and Transformation for Urban Land Governance...............................................15
                Preparing for treaty: Rethinking urban governance in light of Indigenous sovereignties..................16
                Property, governance and contemporary urban development.......................................................16
                The role of national urban policy in Sustainable Development Goals implementation.....................17

2   GUSS Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019
Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019 - School of Global, Urban & Social Studies - RMIT University
The role of city networks in achieving global agreements for sustainable urban development........17
        Understanding and enhancing community consultation.................................................................18
        The social outcomes and impacts of urban greening and waterway restorations...........................18
        Measuring the influence of the built environment on the social and active behaviours of older people
        transitioning into retirement............................................................................................................19
        Apartment living and health and wellbeing.....................................................................................19
        Examining the relationship between liveability and equity...............................................................20
        Understanding the role of economics in city planning decision-making in Australia.......................20
        Exploring Urban Heat Islands........................................................................................................21
        Understanding Urban Forests........................................................................................................21
        How to re-frame animal management to minimise public backlash................................................22
        Understanding the synergies and trade-offs between conservation and ecosystem service supply
        and demand in rural and urban areas............................................................................................22
        Permeably-paved paradise: Street surface renewals as an opportunity for urban renaturing..........23
        What types of green space are good for us?................................................................................23
        Understanding the environmental, cultural and learning benefits of the Iconic Species in
        Schools.........................................................................................................................................24
        Reducing large carnivore human- wildlife conflicts in urban and rural areas of India and
        Nepal............................................................................................................................................24
        Towards a public internet policy framework for Australia................................................................25
        Culture-led urban development: Evaluating the UNESCO Creative Cities Network........................25
        Modelling the spatial distribution of key trip generators to manage traffic congestion and support
        public transport use......................................................................................................................26
        Planning for cities with new transport/ICT technologies.................................................................26
        Exploring the alignment of public transport provision with development planning..........................27
        Mode shift - what works?..............................................................................................................27

Social and Global Studies Centre.........................................................................................................28
SGSC HDR Projects for 2019
        Unison Housing Research Lab: Industry PhD scholarship available.....................................................29
        Conflict resolution and peacebuilding in complex heterogenous states................................................29
        Protection of civilians in the context of civil war & humanitarian emergencies: Addressing conceptual
        confusion, strategic disagreement and operational tensions...............................................................30
        International law, humanitarian crises and threats to liberties.........................................................30
        Weapons of Mass Destruction (In) security in the 21st Century......................................................31
        The abstraction of violence and the deployment of new technologies globally...............................31
        The future of humanitarian values in Australia................................................................................32
        Humanitarian priorities and Indigenous Australians........................................................................32
        Humanitarian aid governance in the Australian context..................................................................33

        Decolonising International Development: Power Dynamics in the Knowledge Sector.....................33

                                                                                                                                                              3
Topics in loneliness, mental health and housing precarity...............................................................34
              Forensic aspects of borderline personality disorder........................................................................34
              Migration policy and practice.........................................................................................................35
              Scholarship of teaching and learning.............................................................................................35
              Place-Based Services and Diversity...............................................................................................36
              Disability Policy, Practice and Advocacy........................................................................................36

              Implementing national standards for working with interpreters in Victorian Courts and
              Tribunals........................................................................................................................................37
              Exploring successful program support and work-based learning in Emergency relief settings.......37
              Globalisation and educational transformations...............................................................................38
              Forced Migrants in the Western Balkans: Between Transit and Settlement....................................38
              Transitional Justice and Reconciliation: Culture of Remembrance and Arts...................................39
              After gay marriage: Marginalisation, discrimination and the transformation of LGBTQ lives............39

              Tackling Islamophobia: assessing the effectiveness of existing programs in disadvantaged suburbs
              (Masters by Research) .................................................................................................................40
              Experiences of sexual assault in the sexually explicit entertainment sector.....................................40
              The changing contours of sex work in Australia.............................................................................41
              Preventing Violence Against Women..............................................................................................41
              Powerlessness Within Power: Alienated Masculinities and Online Child Sexual Exploitation..........42
              Primary prevention of violence.......................................................................................................42
              How do victim-survivors tell their own stories? An analysis of narratives provided to an online
              confidential and anonymous sexual assault reporting tool in Victoria, Australia..............................43
              Gender and social change............................................................................................................43
              Who makes anonymous reports of sexual assault and why? An analysis of survey data collected
              from users of an online confidential & anonymous sexual assault reporting tool in Victoria,
              Australia........................................................................................................................................44
              Reproductive and gynaecological health among LGBTQ People Assigned Female at Birth...........44
              Experiences of cancer and immunotherapy...................................................................................45
              Language and culture education: Praxis of policy and practice in local and international
              contexts........................................................................................................................................45
              Community Languages Education in Local, National and Global Contexts....................................46

              Language, law and justice.............................................................................................................46
              Rethinking remoteness - land, language and lifeworlds..................................................................47

4   GUSS Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019
About the School

Located in the heart of Melbourne on RMIT’s          valuable research, generating more than $6
City campus, the School of Global, Urban             million each year of external research funding and
and Social Studies (GUSS) is one of RMIT’s           continuing to build research networks that extend
largest schools and provides programs from           globally. In the most recent national Excellence in
certificates to PhDs.                                Research for Australia (ERA) ranking, the School
                                                     secured a ranking of 4 in Urban and Regional
The School is a community of socially concerned
                                                     Planning and in Cultural Studies. This ranking
and globally engaged scholars who instinctively
                                                     places the quality of the School’s research above
challenge conventional ideas about globalisation,
sustainability, language, crime and social care      world standard.
through action-oriented teaching and applied
research. The international experience of staff in   Professor Robin Goodman
the School broadens the knowledge of students
                                                     Dean, School of Global, Urban and
and challenges their ideas, preparing them for a
                                                     Social Studies.
global career.

Most of the School’s academic programs are
considered the top programs in Victoria. They
are in extremely high demand and are rated
highly by students. Contributing to the success
of programs are an experienced team of award-
winning staff, who have won external teaching
awards and regularly win College and University
awards.

Within the School, we maintain strong links
with industry and professionally recognised
bodies. RMIT’s programs within Planning; Social
Work; and Translating and Interpreting are all
professionally accredited, and reviews by external
assessors have placed these programs as the
best professionally accredited in Australia.

The School is also successful in engaging in

                                                                                                           5
The GUSS Higher Degrees by
       Research Program
       GUSS has a large and vibrant higher degrees by research program, with over 150 students studying for
       a Masters by Research or Ph.D. All our students receive dedicated supervision by academics who are
       themselves highly engaged in research. All HDR candidates are also aligned to one of our two major
       research Centres; The Centre for Urban Research and The Social & Global Studies Centre. The work
       of these centres spans a range of fields in the social sciences and humanities, and our HDR students
       become part of a community of scholars dedicated to undertaking research that is both intellectually
       rigorous and often highly applied.

       Information on our Research Centres and on GUSS supervisors can be found at:

             Centre for Urban Research                       Social & Global Studies Centre

       GUSS HDR Project Listing for 2019 & How to Apply
       From mid-2018, RMIT is introducing a new Expression of Interest (EOI) process for HDR applications. All
       applicants, both local and international, will be required to submit a HDR ‘EOI’ through the RMIT School
       of Graduate Research (SGR). Your EOI will be assessed by SGR and GUSS and, if successful, you will
       then be invited to complete your application for admission to a research degree.

       As part of this EOI process, applicants must submit a number of documents, including a Research
       Proposal.

       In preparing this research proposal prospective candidates for a research degree in GUSS (Masters by
       Research or Ph.D.) are requested to identify a project (and supervisory team) from the list below and
       ensure that their research proposal closely addresses the project description. Applicants should
       also outline (as part of this proposal) how their academic and/or professional background equips them to
       undertake the proposed research project outlined in the description.

       If you have any questions about this process you should contact SGR or the GUSS HDR Program
       directly. You should also feel free to contact individual supervisors for further advice in relation to specific
       projects.

             guss.research@rmit.edu.au

6   GUSS Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019
Centre for Urban
Research
Cities are the foundations of our economic, social and environmental
wellbeing. This demands better understanding and insight into
policy, planning and decision-making in areas such as urban
environments, resource and energy use, infrastructure and mobility,
liveability and, resilience and adaptation.

The Centre for Urban Research (CUR) is a dynamic hub for
interdisciplinary urban research. Through its research, the CUR is
directly responding to the globally important need to shape cities
that are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

                Website

                                                                       7
CUR HDR Projects for 2019
       (Masters by Research & PhD)

        Climate Change and Transformations

       Low carbon urban governance and                         Governance for regional
       urban sustainability transitions                        sustainability transitions
       Project description                                     Project description
       There is an emerging literature focusing on             There is growing interest in the contributions
       the role of the cities and local scale actors in        that regions can make in transitioning to
       responding to climate change which include              more liveable, just and sustainable forms of
       responses from local governments, non-                  development. Enabling such transitions requires
       government and community organisations                  theoretical and practical understanding of
       and private enterprises. Action, innovation and         how different governance approaches can
       transformation at the local scale are of interest for   enables and constrain action across different
       researchers and activists frustrated by the lack        sectors. While there are a range of theoretical
       of significant progress at the international scale      approaches for enabling sustainability transitions,
       around multi-lateral treaties and targets. There        little is known of their efficacy in different
       is a need for further conceptual and empirical          regional contexts, and tailored responses are
       work to better understand processes of change           required in order to address the unique sets of
       and uptake across a range of local actions and          circumstances operating in specific contexts.
       whether we are starting to see systemic changes
                                                               Supervisors
       across different policy and practice domains.
                                                               Dr Susie Moloney
       This project seeks to contribute to this body of
                                                               Dr Karyn Bosomworth
       knowledge.
                                                               Dr Brian Coffey
       Supervisors
                                                               Affiliate CUR Research Program
       Dr Susie Moloney
                                                               Climate Change Transformations
       Professor Ralph Horne
                                                               Enabling Capability Platform
       Affiliate CUR Research Program
                                                               Urban Futures
       Climate Change Transformations
                                                               Social Change
       Critical Urban Governance

       Enabling Capability Platform
       Urban Futures

8   GUSS Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019
Climate Change hotspots:                                 Of what, to what, and who gets
examining adaptation-mitigation                          to say? The political, institutional
intersections                                            challenges of adaptation and
                                                         transformation
Project description
Climate change is a social phenomenon involving          Project description
emerging efforts to reduce greenhouse gas                While the study and practice of adaptation
emissions as well as efforts to tackle climatic          and transformation advances apace, ethical
shifts and their flow-on effects. But vulnerability      questions such as what and who ‘should’
to climate change is typically still discussed only      adapt and to what are growing. Such questions
in relation to the latter. This project will identify    raise ethical issues and inevitable questions of
and analyse the challenges of a small selection of       power and politics. A small but growing body
‘climate change hotspots’: groups, organisations,        of scholarship is increasingly concerned with
activities or places that are highly exposed to both     these ideas in transformation and adaptation and
climate-based effects and pressure to rapidly cut        their governance through critical re-evaluation
emissions or avoid emissions pulses (‘transition         of beliefs, values, and associated institutions.
risk’). These could include, for example, certain        Projects developed under this broad theme will
coal mining communities (e.g. in the La Trobe            examine various political, ethical, and normative
Valley), an airline or a beef farm. Alternatively, one   assumptions and challenges presented by the
class of case study will be chosen an international      need for and efforts to enable adaptation in all
comparison will be conducted (e.g. coal areas in         its ‘forms’, including the idea of transformative
Australia and Germany). In each case, the project        adaptation.
will analyse the interplay between the imperatives
to adapt and mitigate and examine the tensions
and synergies between them. It will analyse              Supervisors
and reflect on how facing acute adaptation and           Dr Karyn Bosomworth
mitigation pressure simultaneously encourages            Dr Susie Moloney
or tempers the possibilities for transformational        Dr Brian Coffey
change (of a progressive or regressive kind) in          Associate Professor Lauren Rickards
different contexts. Overall, the project will use this   Affiliate CUR Research Program
empirical base to contribute to scholarship on the       Climate Change Transformations
concepts of adaptation and mitigation and seek
                                                         Enabling Capability Platform
to identify how they may be better conceptualised
                                                         Urban Futures
in relation to each other. If an energy case is used,
                                                         Social Change
there is also strong potential to contribute to the
energy social science literature where discussions
of adaptation are only nascent.

Supervisors
Associate Professor Lauren Rickards
Associate Professor Susie Moloney

Affiliate CUR Research Program
Climate Change Transformations

Enabling Capability Platform
Urban Futures
Social Change

                                                                                                             9
Disasters, development, and                           Integrated urban water governance
resilience                                            for transitions to sustainable,
                                                      adaptive urban development: a case
Project description
                                                      study of the Kalkallo precinct.
Preventing the creation of disaster risk,
responding to and learning from disasters is a        Project description
key activity in the context of climate change.        Achieving sustainable, liveable precincts with a
CCT researchers focus on the social drivers of        sense of place for future communities involves
disasters, notably urban planning, settlement         working with multiple complexities. These include
and housing design and approaches to                  enabling renewable energy, transport, integrated
implementation using qualitative and quantitative     water management, walkability, health, affordable
analytical tools and insights to help reduce          housing, and urban greening, that all address
Disaster Risk and position them within climate        climate resilience and social imperatives and
change adaptation. Their work aims to help            challenges. It also includes working with a diversity
develop approaches to potential disasters that        of actors, and their various needs, equities, and
foster socio-ecological resilience, justice and the   objectives. As such, enabling sustainable precincts
achievement of UN Sustainable Development             demands new ways of thinking and working,
Goals. For example: owner-driven housing              which in themselves require the bringing together
reconstruction as a means to enhancing socio-         of different yet related approaches to urban
ecological resilience of communities in India         planning and development. Industry research and
(PhD, RMIT, 2018); Resilience Action Plan for and     experience has seen water sensitive urban design
by Tarnagulla community (Action Research, RMIT,       and third pipe technologies become best practice
2019); Refuge Project (Arts House, Giant Grass,       in Australian urban developments. However, to
2019-20). The program invites project propsals in     date, wider issues of liveability, integrated urban
line with these themes.                               water management, and climate resilience have
                                                      generally been explored in somewhat isolation and
Supervisors
                                                      sporadically. Understanding how water authorities
Dr Karyn Bosomworth
                                                      and related policy agencies can support and
Others TBC
                                                      enable a transition to resilient and adaptive urban
Affiliate CUR Research Program                        development remains a challenge for policy and
Climate Change Transformations                        in practice. In partnership with Melbourne Water,
Enabling Capability Platform                          this PhD study will investigate the governance,
Urban Futures                                         policy, and practical possibilities and implications
                                                      of connecting and enabling key agendas of
                                                      sustainable development, liveability, integrated
                                                      water management, and climate change
                                                      adaptation, within the context of a large urban
                                                      development.

                                                      Supervisors
                                                      Dr Karyn Bosomworth
                                                      Professor Jago Dodson

                                                      Affiliate CUR Research Program
                                                      Climate Change Transformations

                                                      Enabling Capability Platform
                                                      Urban Futures

                                                                                                              10
How might adaptation planning                        Planning, climate and agrifood
        support transformation?                              systems in metropolitan regions
        Project description                                  Project description
        There are plenty of decision-making tools            The field of urban food systems (production)
        to guide those seeking to undertake climate          research is well established, but often distant
        change adaptation planning. Yet within the           to policy/decision making, at least beyond
        context of the growing call for ‘transformation’     peripheral notions of urban farming as community
        (transformative adaptation, transformative           development activity. This project is investigating
        governance, and other monikers), there has been      climate change responsive approaches to land
        little evaluation of what the existing tools have    use planning for food and agriculture in broad
        achieved and are achieving, or an understanding      city regions, including peri-urban landscapes.
        of how, where and why they may be enabling           It will primarily focus on the contestation of
        ‘transformation’. Let alone engaging with the        policy, practice and community perspectives
        socio-institutional dimensions and questions         on future farming (including within the urban
        of transforming what, to what, and for and by        area) with a specific perspective on the role of
        whom and what. Therefore, there is a pressing        planning systems and practitioner knowledge in
        need to identify adaptation planning tools and       transitions to climate-smart agriculture in both
        guidance that enable engagement with these           contested landscapes and locations. The project
        issues. Doing so requires a critical examination     should seek to investigate the interactions of
        of the efficacies of various tools in engaging       planning (as an exercise of land categorisation
        with the discourse, practice and institutional       and strategic consideration of urban morphology)
        conditions within which current planning must        with adaptive farming under a market-orientated
        operate and potentially transform/change. Such       food regime. This recognises that movements
        an examination has yet to occur. This project        and processes of change in farming systems are
        aims to critically examine the discourse, practice   highly spatially differentiated, and that planning
        and institutional conditions within which current    systems have scope to reimagine agriculture
        tools need to operate and potentially challenge      as an activity, land use and ‘problem’ category.
        and/or transform (in case study policy domains       This project also considers the global agenda
        or organisations), evaluate the efficacy of          of ‘climate smart agriculture’ within a localised
        several adaptation planning tools and methods        context of urban and regional planning policy and
        of engaging with these socio-institutional           practices – in effect setting this as a critical issue
        dimensions of transformative adaptation and its      of understanding, categorisation and adaptive
        governance, and develop coherent methods for         policy.
        enabling such tools to engage with these issues.
                                                             Supervisors
        Supervisors                                          Associate Professor Andrew Butt
        Dr Karyn Bosomworth                                  Associate Professor Lauren Rickards
        Dr Susie Moloney                                     Professor Bruce Wilson
        Dr Brian Coffey
                                                             Affiliate CUR Research Program
        Affiliate CUR Research Program                       Climate Change Transformations
        Climate Change Transformations
                                                             Enabling Capability Platform
        Enabling Capability Platform                         Urban Futures
        Urban Futures                                        Social Change
        Social Change

11   GUSS Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019
Implementing the SDGs: Regions,                        The relationship between campus
disruptions and enablers                               landscape components and students’
                                                       psychological restoration
Project description
Countries and organisations around the world           Project description
have signed up to the United Nations Sustainable       Recent research indicates that one in five
Development Goals (SDGs). How different                university students experience anxiety or
groups strive to implement them, however,              depression. How can the design of university
remains to be seen. It is likely that place-specific   landscapes combat this and create a more
approaches will emerge thanks to differences           relaxing environment? Research has found
in the dominant issues and formal and informal         that exposure to green spaces contributes to
institutions that exist in different locations. This   restorative psychological and physiological health
project will explore the role of supra-national        benefits, such as recovery from fatigue. This
and sub-national regional differences in how the       proposed project will investigate the relationship
SDGs are being approached, the advantages              between campus landscape components and
and disadvantages of using “the region” as a           students’ psychological restoration. The use of
vehicle for SDG implementation, how regions            eye-tracking in landscape and urban research
are altering under climate change and other            is an emerging and exciting area. Using eye
processes including SDG-based initiatives, and         and GPS tracking movement to record visual
whether the SDG agenda in particular places is         patterns of students interacting with the campus
resilient to various disruptions and stressors. In     landscape components, the data will help inform
these ways, the project will contribute valuable       planners how to improve the design of university
knowledge to the critical question of how to           campuses to benefit students.
enable global sustainable development in the           Supervisors
context of particularity and change, and how           Associate Professor Marco Amati
sustainable development and regions are                Dr Chayn Sun
mutually constituted.                                  Associate Professor Adrian Dyer
Supervisors                                            Associate Professor Joe Hurley
Dr Karyn Bosomworth                                    Affiliate CUR Research Program
Assoociate Professor Lauren Rickards                   Climate Change Transformations
Associate Professor Wendy Steele
                                                       Enabling Capability Platform
Affiliate CUR Research Program                         Urban Futures
Climate Change Transformations

Enabling Capability Platform
Urban Futures
Social Change

                                                                                                            12
Critical Urban Governance

Critical urban governance                          Urban experiments accelerating
                                                   urban sustainability transitions:
Project description
                                                   Evaluating UN Global Compact
This project focuses critical attention into how
                                                   Cities programme projects
cities are governed, who by, and for whom both
In Australia and internationally. The governance   Project description
of cities is consequential for all who make        Urban sustainability transitions are in vogue and
cities their home. This project aims to raise      ideas of experiments, urban living labs, and
important questions, shape debates, create         a variety of innovation niches and disruptions
new knowledge and provide an inclusive space       are offered across a nascent yet burgeoning
for discussion about the challenges facing         literature. This mainly optimistic and hopeful
contemporary cities including for example a        genre is accompanied by a vast array of urban
focus on: planning systems and reform politics,    projects and programmes seeking to steer the
urban renewal and displacement, critical           fate of cities in the urban century towards a more
urban infrastructure, policies for a just city,    ecologically and equitably acceptable direction.
emergent modes of urban govern mentality and       The projects are proposed by and in turn leading
comparative urbanism at the international scale.   to a plethora of global urban frameworks,
                                                   including the Sustainable Development Goals,
Supervisors
                                                   the New Urban Agenda, the Sendai Disaster Risk
Associate Professor Wendy Steele
                                                   Agreement and the COP21 Paris Agreement.
Professor Libby Porter
                                                   This research will investigate the progress of and
Affiliate CUR Research Program                     prospects for urban transitions resulting from
Critical Urban Governance                          urban experiments, specifically, a set of projects
                                                   of the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme.
Enabling Capability Platform
                                                   The project will apply and critically evaluate both
Urban Futures
                                                   a range of projects and, through this inquiry, the
                                                   value of middle range transitions related theories.
                                                   It will seek to investigate how transition ideas
                                                   are percolating into global policy organisations
                                                   and city networks and examine the fate of city-
                                                   level responses. Methods will include empirical
                                                   cases of projects using mixed-method document
                                                   analysis, interviews, and potentially surveys.

                                                   Supervisors
                                                   Dr Andreanne Doyle
                                                   Dr Susie Moloney
                                                   Dr Trivess Moore

                                                   Affiliate CUR Research Program
                                                   Critical Urban Governance

                                                   Enabling Capability Platform
                                                   Urban Futures

                                                                                                         13
Transforming urban governance                         Rethinking good governance
Project description                                   Project description
In the face of the many pressures of urban            Cities shape us and we shape them. A positive
change (population growth, uneven urban               vision of the ‘good city’ as an achievable utopia
development, climate change, questions of             has been a recurring idea of the ideal city and
sovereignty etc.) there are growing calls for the     imaginaries of ‘the good life’ for human society.
need to transform urban governance in response        Notions of the city and citizens are grounded in
to the challenges of cities in a climate of growth-   what it means to be human, with the ambition
led change and develop new understandings             to be civilised as articulated by the ‘good city’
of urban governance systems and processes.            values and ideals. But if our concepts of civility
The emphasis is both on the drivers to transform      are grounded in landscapes and discourses
urban governance as well as what this actually        of exclusion then we need to ask the following
means in practice, and the diversity of policy        questions: what has a focus on the good
and planning approaches as mechanisms for             city obscured from our view? And what new
change. This project focuses on critical social       imaginary of the good city is now required within
science questions around transformative change        the context of a climate of change? This is
and governance possibilities and constraints in       project builds from an ARC DECRA that explored
contemporary cities                                   notions of good governance in wild cities
                                                      within the context of climate change. This is an
Supervisors
                                                      opportunity for a critically engaged student to be
Associate Professor Wendy Steele
                                                      at the forefront of theoretical and praxis based
Professor Libby Porter
                                                      approaches to the question of what constitutes
Dr Brian Coffey
                                                      ‘good governance’ in cities.
Dr Benjamin Cooke
                                                      Supervisors
Affiliate CUR Research Program
                                                      Associate Professor Wendy Steele
Critical Urban Governance
                                                      Dr Benjamin Cooke
Enabling Capability Platform
                                                      Affiliate CUR Research Program
Urban Futures
                                                      Critical Urban Governance

                                                      Enabling Capability Platform
                                                      Urban Futures

                                                                                                           14
Hotter and Smarter? How Does                          Trust, Technology and
        Smart City Governance Engage with                     Transformation for Urban Land
        Hotter Cities?                                        Governance
        Project description                                   Project description
        Significant policy, planning and regulatory efforts   A sustainable urban future demands good land
        have been directed at the problem of rising           information and trustworthy land administration
        urban heat threats and disasters in Australia.        systems as critical public infrastructure. However,
        Yet, a largely unexplored area of research and        less than 50% of countries have mapped or
        practice concerns the governance implications         registered land in capital cities and less than 30%
        integrating new smart city technologies with          of countries maintain digital land data for effective
        existing adaptive strategies and frameworks           urban decision-making. Further, land administration
        that respond to climate-related threats.              chronically rates amongst the most corrupt of public
        Australian state and local authorities, like their    institutions and often falls to poorly capacitated local
        international counterparts, are investing in smart    governments. This leads to dissonance between
        city infrastructure to assist with prediction,        public expectations and government performance
        mitigation, communication, and recovery in            – i.e. (dis)trust, creating immense risk for current
        emergency situations. This project seeks to           and future urban populations, especially women
        unpack assumptions that urban policy will             and other vulnerable groups. In response, emerging
        manage the prospect of hotter cities by making        geospatial technologies empowering communities
        them ‘smarter’. This project focuses on the           to co-produce land information are embraced as
        following questions: 1) In what ways are policy       transformational interventions and attract millions
        and regulatory frameworks utilising emerging          in donor-funding. Yet, there is little evidence that
        smart city governance technologies? 2) What           measures the impact of these technologies on the
        specific policies, strategies and technologies are    performance of urban land administration systems,
        directed towards the mitigation and management        or to support the design of policies to harness these
        of urban heat threats and similar climate-related     technologies and data to transform urban land
        problems? 3) How do citizens engage with smart        governance.
        city governance, both generally and in relation
                                                              This project aims to develop a data and technology-
        to emerging problems of hot cities? 4) What
                                                              oriented model for evaluating the trust outcomes of
        are the progressive new directions in smart city
                                                              geospatial technologies used in participatory urban
        governance, and how do these engage with
                                                              land projects. The investigation can encompass
        the new urban challenges brought by climate
                                                              single or comparative uses of technologies, focusing
        change?
                                                              on the process, output and outcomes. The research
        Supervisors                                           is expected to contribute to land-related technology
        Associate Professor Wendy Steele                      investment policy as well as more generally to the
        Associate Professor Marco Amati                       notion of responsible technological innovation.
        Dr Ian McShane
                                                              Supervisors
        Affiliate CUR Research Program                        Professor Libby Porter
        Critical Urban Governance                             Dr Serene Ho

        Enabling Capability Platform                          Affiliate CUR Research Program
        Urban Futures                                         Critical Urban Governance

                                                              Enabling Capability Platform
                                                              Urban Futures

15   GUSS Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019
Preparing for treaty: Rethinking                    Property, governance and
        urban governance in light of                        contemporary urban development
        Indigenous sovereignties
                                                            Project description
        Project description                                 This project will use emerging thinking from
        Negotiation of treaties between Aboriginal          critical property theory to consider new ways
        nations and Australian settler governments are      of undertaking development and place-making
        currently underway in three Australian states.      in contemporary cities. Building off recent work
        At the same time, the demands made in the           that re-thinks property from the margins, the
        Uluru Statement from the Heart remain untested      project will examine case studies of ‘subversive
        in terms of a respectful response from settler      property’ in different global South and global
        governments. This project will critically examine   North contexts. The project aims to advance
        what will be required to rethink urban governance   new knowledge about contemporary forms of
        from a Treaty framework, and the implications for   place-making and belonging particularly those
        redistribution, reparation and reconciliation.      that can contribute to thinking differently about
        Supervisors                                         how we make and develop cities for just and
        Profesor Libby Porter                               sustainable futures. It will also lead to significant
        Professor Mark McMillan                             new publications.

        Affiliate CUR Research Program                      Supervisors
        Critical Urban Governance                           Professor Libby Porter
                                                            Dr Benjamin Cooke
        Enabling Capability Platform                        Associate Professor Wendy Steele
        Urban Futures
        Social Change                                       Affiliate CUR Research Program
                                                            Critical Urban Governance

                                                            Enabling Capability Platform
                                                            Urban Futures
                                                            Social Change

16   GUSS Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019
The role of national urban policy                     The role of city networks in
        in Sustainable Development Goals                      achieving global agreements for
        implementation                                        sustainable urban development
        Project description                                   Project description
        This project responds to the emergence of             Since the mid-2010s an array of global
        a growing array of international agreements           agreements with goals of achieving greater
        and agendas relating to urbanisation. These           urban sustainability have been signed by UN
        frameworks include the New Urban Agenda               Member States. These include the Sustainable
        (NUA), the Sustainable Development Goals              Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda,
        (SDGs), the Paris Agreement, the Sendai               the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the
        Agreement and the Cancun Agreement. The               Sendai Agreement on Disaster Risks, among
        NUA and SDGs (Goal 11) will be focused on             others. How these ‘top-down’ agreements
        cities but operate via the national member state.     can be most effectively implemented remains
        This is occurring in the context of a long-term       unclear as they are agreements of nation states
        weakening of nation states as economic and            whereas their application will principally be at the
        political actors. This project will investigate the   metropolitan or municipal spatial scale. Meanwhile
        emerging role of national level urban policy          an array of city networks have emerged over
        in articulating between global urban-related          the past decade which are offering ‘bottom-
        agreements and city-level urban policy and            up’ responses to problems of unsustainable
        practice. Drawing on links to the OECD and UN         urban development. These networks often
        Habitat the project will provide new insights into    have thematic foci, such as resilience or
        the emerging field of national-level urban policy     climate change. Although knowledge of their
        development.                                          purpose, mode of organising, governance, and
                                                              influence is growing there remains a knowledge
        Supervisors
                                                              gap as to their significance and effectiveness
        Professor Jago Dodson
                                                              in implementation of global sustainability
        Dr Brian Coffey
                                                              agreements. This project will investigate the work
        Affiliate CUR Research Program                        of the UN Global Compact Cities Programme
        Critical Urban Governance                             which is a partnership between the UN, cities, civil
        Enabling Capability Platform                          society, the private sector and academia, hosted
        Urban Futures                                         at RMIT University. The project will assess the
                                                              historical emergence and evolution of the Cities
                                                              Programme, its response to the SDGs and related
                                                              frameworks and its model of operation involving
                                                              city-level partnerships.

                                                              Supervisors
                                                              Professor Jago Dodson
                                                              Associate Professor Lauren Rickards
                                                              Associate Professor Wendy Steele

                                                              Affiliate CUR Research Program
                                                              Critical Urban Governance
                                                              Climate Change Transformations

                                                              Enabling Capability Platform
                                                              Urban Futures

17   GUSS Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019
Healthy Liveable Cities

        Understanding and enhancing                            The social outcomes and impacts
        community consultation                                 of urban greening and waterway
                                                               restorations
        Project description
        There is an existing need to understand how local      Project description
        governments currently engage and consult with          In Australian cities, there is considerable investment
        communities to inform local policy development and     occurring in the ‘re-naturing’ of urban waterways
        a need to develop and test better methods for this     to reorient past engineering projects that sought
        purpose. This project would also need to investigate   to simply and efficiently move excess or storm
        the role of evidence in this process.                  water away from residential areas. Yet little is
                                                               known about what constitutes success for these
        The project provides applied PhD policy focused
                                                               projects, in particular, how different kinds of urban
        research opportunities for the candidate and
                                                               green space, particularly waterways, support
        have considerable involvement with existing local
                                                               mental and physical health and wellbeing at the
        government partners. It will teach multi-dimensional
                                                               neighbourhood level and how such projects
        research skills, the direct link between policy and
                                                               foster human-nature connections. This project
        research and demonstrate how academic research
                                                               will investigate the impacts of urban greening and
        can have impact in the policy and practice settings.
                                                               waterway restoration projects in Australian cities,
                                                               focusing on riverine restoration projects. It aims to
        Supervisors                                            understand resident or community expectations,
        Dr Melanie Davern                                      preferences, uses and values of restored urban
                                                               river corridors, potentially using mixed methods and
        Dr Claire Boulange
                                                               a pre- and post- design. This project will provide
        Affiliate CUR Research Program                         multiple outcomes of significance. It will help to
        Healthy Liveable Cities                                provide empirical data on the success of large-
                                                               scale urban greening interventions, provide an
        Enabling Capability Platform
                                                               opportunity for benchmarking and comparison with
        Urban Futures
                                                               other sites around Australia and globally, and help
                                                               with effective planning, policy, and funding targeted
                                                               towards urban greening and waterway restoration.
                                                               These outcomes are crucial for planning liveable and
                                                               sustainable cities of the future.

                                                               Supervisors
                                                               Dr Cecily Maller
                                                               Dr Melanie Davern
                                                               Dr Leila Farahani

                                                               Affiliate CUR Research Program
                                                               Healthy Liveable Cities

                                                               Enabling Capability Platform
                                                               Urban Futures

18   GUSS Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019
Measuring the influence of the built                      Apartment living and health and
environment on the social and                             wellbeing
active behaviours of older people
                                                          Project description
transitioning into retirement
                                                          Apartment buildings now account for one third
Project description                                       of all residential building approvals in Australia,
The built environment, being one that is designed         effectively doubling in the last decade. Architect
and made by mankind, has been established as              and developer decisions about the design
an important influence on people’s health and             and siting of apartment buildings can have
wellbeing. Specifically, the design of the built          implications for a range of resident health and
environment in cities can maintain the health of          wellbeing outcomes, including physical activity
those within them which is becoming increasingly          and sedentary time, social isolation, mental
important since over half of the worlds’ population       wellbeing, noise annoyance, and respiratory
now live in urban environments. Research is               health. The project would capitalise on the skills
now uncovering that built environments with high          and expertise of the candidate to develop a
density areas, shops, services, public transport,         project related to an aspect of apartment living
and amenity lead to healthier inhabitants. However,       that could impact on resident health. This PhD
it is less well understood how the built and social       project is part of The HIGH LIFE Study, a multi-
environments might affect the health of older people      city study examining the apartment design
transitioning into retirement. This project will use      features, and ‘the dose’ of these features, that
data on middle to older aged people to understand         impact on residents’ health and wellbeing.
if there are environmental and social characteristics
                                                          Supervisors
related to the layout of cities that impact their
                                                          Dr Sarah Foster
behaviours and health. The population of Australia
                                                          Other Supervisors TBC depending on project
is continuing to age, and older people carry a
                                                          focus
significant amount of chronic disease burden that
is avoidable if the built and social environment          Affiliate CUR Research Program
are supportive of healthy behaviours. However,            Healthy Liveable Cities
it is not well understood what kinds of social and
                                                          Enabling Capability Platform
built environments can lead to healthy behaviours
                                                          Urban Futures
for middle and older aged people who transition
from work to retirement. For example, during the
working years, the transport network may support
active transport to work, however, after retirement
recreational amenities such as parks may support
leisure time physical activity. This project will use
statistical models of physical activity data to explore
which social and built environments support a
healthy and active transition to retirement.

Supervisors
Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti
Dr Lucy Gunn
Dr Belen Zapata-Diomedi

Affiliate CUR Research Program
Healthy Liveable Cities

Enabling Capability Platform
Urban Futures

                                                                                                                19
Examining the relationship between                     Understanding the role of
        liveability and equity                                 economics in city planning
        Project description
                                                               decision-making in Australia
        There is growing recognition internationally that      Project description
        more ‘liveable’ neighbourhoods positively impact       Cities are constructed from urban environment
        the health and wellbeing of residents. However,        features that are shaped by urban planning,
        the field is hampered by methodological                transport systems and urban design. An
        limitations, making it difficult to draw conclusions   externality is a side-effect experienced by a
        and form subsequent policy recommendations             third party from the activity of another. A type
        for creating cities that enhance health and            of externality arises from the provision of public
        wellbeing and reduce inequities. It is well known      goods, including the delivery of city planning
        that those who are more disadvantaged tend to          and associated infrastructure (e.g. public
        have poorer health, but it is unknown whether          transport, green space, road infrastructure).
        living in more liveable neighbourhoods can             When the provision of infrastructure is left to
        change health, wellbeing, and social trajectories      the public sector an evaluation of it is required
        for those more disadvantaged.                          to assess whether the benefit from its provision
                                                               exceeds the costs. In addition, public investment
        This project will investigate whether those who
                                                               evaluations should account for issues related
        reside in more liveable neighbourhoods, but are
                                                               to distributional equity in the provision of
        of lower socioeconomic position experience a
                                                               infrastructure, where some areas have better
        ‘pulling up’ effect on their health, wellbeing, and
                                                               infrastructure than others. In Australia we lack a
        social trajectories over time. To do this, well-
                                                               clear understanding of how to define externalities
        conceptualised, empirical measures of liveability
                                                               in the context of city and infrastructure planning,
        will be applied and compared with longitudinal
                                                               and how they might be accounted for in the
        population data to detect inequities and
                                                               policy- and/or decision- making process. This
        trajectories for those of differing socioeconomic
                                                               HDR project seeks to understand how to define
        position. Quantitative findings will be further
                                                               and measure externalities and to develop and
        contextualised using qualitative research
                                                               apply a framework and methods to evaluate
        approaches. Taken together, the intention of this
                                                               externalities for inclusion in major infrastructure
        project is to provide an in-depth understanding
                                                               policies and decisions. The aim is to apply the
        of whether, and what components of liveability,
                                                               evaluation framework and developed methods
        moderate the socioeconomic - health and
                                                               to current government policies relating to
        wellbeing relationship over time.
                                                               major transport projects (e.g. public transport
                                                               infrastructure).
        Supervisors                                            Supervisors
        A/Prof Hannah Badland                                  Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti
        Dr Sarah Foster                                        Dr Lucy Gunn
        Affiliate CUR Research Program                         Dr Belen Zapata-Diomedi
        Healthy Liveable Cities                                Affiliate CUR Research Program
        Enabling Capability Platform                           Healthy Liveable Cities
        Urban Futures                                          Enabling Capability Platform
                                                               Urban Futures

20   GUSS Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019
People, Nature, Place

Exploring Urban Heat Islands                       Understanding Urban Forests
Project description                                Project description
Urban heat islands (UHI) are common                Urban forests are starting to receive attention
phenomena globally and are contributing to         globally for their ability to create sustainable and
making cities increasingly unliveable. With        liveable cities. Whilst this increased attention is
climate change exacerbating the UHI problem,       welcome, considerable work is required to enable
urgent research is needed to better understand     us to understand how urban forests work, how
the scope of the issue, to investigate how UHIs    best to manage them and what contributions
vary spatially and temporally, to explore lived    they make to the functioning of urban systems.
experiences of the phenomena, and to examine       This research project considers both biophysical
how best to combat them. This research             and socioeconomic aspects of urban forest
project will use a combination of field research   management and involves working closely with
and analysis of existing global datasets to        a wide range of industry partners, including
contribute to our understanding of UHIs and can    local councils, water authorities, not for profit
adopt an approach that is purely biophysical,      organisations and community interest groups.
socioeconomic or some combination of those         The research may also involve field research
two.                                               using cutting edge, real-time sensor technologies
Supervisors                                        to understand how trees respond to stresses.
Melissa Neave                                      Supervisors
Ben Cooke                                          Melissa Neave
Brian Coffey                                       Brian Coffey
Affiliate CUR Research Program                     Ben Cooke
People, Nature, Place                              Affiliate CUR Research Program
Enabling Capability Platform                       People, Nature, Place
Urban Futures                                      Enabling Capability Platform
                                                   Urban Futures

                                                                                                          21
Interdisciplinary Conservation
         Science (ICON)

        How to re-frame animal                               Understanding the synergies and
        management to minimise public                        trade-offs between conservation
        backlash                                             and ecosystem service supply and
                                                             demand in rural and urban areas
        Project description
        It is often necessary for land managers to remove    Project description
        numbers of both feral and native species from        There has been significant progress in
        an area, often to preserve ongoing conservation,     understanding how we value and measure
        land management and the biodiversity and             ecosystem services. However, much of this work
        ecosystems it contains, or to avoid undue            has been focused on the supply of services, with
        suffering to the individuals of the overabundant     a less research on understanding the dynamics
        species (e.g. kangaroo culls, koala populations      of the demand for services. In addition, more
        on Kangaroo Island). Often the most humane           work is needed to properly understand the likely
        (and often cost effective) method of removing        synergies and tradeoffs that may occur between
        these animals is to kill them. However, such         prioritizing ecosystem services and biodiversity
        management approaches are often seen as              conservation. This project will focus on one or
        unpalatable or unacceptable by the public. It        more case studies in Australia, collating socio-
        is also well accepted that how concepts are          economic, environmental and biological data
        framed can dramatically influence how people         in rural and urban contexts. This will allow an
        respond. This project will investigate how can       examination of how the supply and demand
        this kind of responsible animal management can       profile of ecosystem services varies between
        be re-framed to avoid or minimise backlash. The      urban and rural contexts, both spatially and
        application of framing concepts to biodiversity      through time. This data will then be used to
        conservation is relatively new, led recently         examine the conservation implications for
        by Interdisciplinary Conservation Science            prioritizing areas for ecosystem services. The
        researchers. An HDR student taking on this           project will require extensive use of modelling
        project would have the benefit of solid grounding    with spatial data, and will provide valuable
        whilst also being at the forefront of practical      information for allocating land uses as cities
        research that may be both influential and directly   grow.
        informative for biodiversity conservation policy.    Supervisors
        Supervisors                                          Dr Ascelin Gordon
        Professor Sarah Bekessy                              Dr Georgia Garrard
        Dr Georgia Garrard                                   Professor Simon Jones (School of Science)
        Dr Alex Kusmanoff                                    Affiliate CUR Research Program
        Affiliate CUR Research Program                       Interdisciplinary Conservation Science (ICON)
        Interdisciplinary Conservation Science (ICON)        Enabling Capability Platform
        Enabling Capability Platform                         Urban Futures
        Urban Futures

22   GUSS Higher Degree by Research Projects 2019
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