CUR’s Climate Change & Resilience Group actively engages with the challenges society faces in planning for and acting on a changing climate in the context of social shifts and other environmental change.

Aim

Our aim is to build links between multiple theoretical, disciplinary and practical perspectives in order to foster insightful and useful research, and to facilitate productive trans-disciplinary interchanges between diverse researchers, practitioners and policymakers.

We work across three main themes:

  • Disaster, Risk and Resilience
  • Decarbonisation and urban transitions
  • Connecting research, policy and practice

Themes

Disaster, Risk and Resilience

With climatic extremes becoming more frequent and severe, the risks of disasters are increasing especially for those experiencing longer-term vulnerabilities. CC&R researchers explore the many practical and political aspects of disasters, including questions of risk, vulnerability and adaptation, and response, recovery and resilience. They combine critical understanding of the limitations of key concepts with empathetic engagement with practitioners and policy makers’ needs.

Decarbonisation and urban transitions

In the face of the need to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a growing number of cities are pushing forward ambitious decarbonisation plans. Research is needed to analyse these commitments and propositions in terms of effectiveness and underlying assumptions. CC&R researchers are working with Australian and international cities to help understand the challenges involved, promote knowledge sharing between cities, and ultimately help facilitate a rapid transition to a low carbon future.

Connecting research, policy and practice in dynamic contexts 

Addressing climate change involves uncertainties, complexities and diverse perspectives alongside issues of governance, institutions, and public policy. Understanding and negotiating this context requires development and effective use of research and other forms of knowledge and experience. To facilitate informed interactions between research, policy, and practice, CC&R researchers actively engage with practitioners, policy actors, and other researchers to articulate and apply theoretical and practical frameworks and processes aimed at supporting our capacity to address the many challenges of a changing climate.

Projects

Exploring the socio-institutional dimensions of transformative adaptation

This project aims to better understand drivers and limitations of ‘new forms of governance and practice’ in different policy sectors, and the implications of these insights for theories of adaptation and learning in public policy.

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Enhancing networks for resilience

Developing an understanding of how social networks influence social resilience to natural disasters and climate change.

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Enabling social innovation for local climate adaptability

This research critically investigates tensions and potentialities between risk-based assessments by local governance agencies and innovations by local groups and NGOs.

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Collaborative stewardship of natural resources under a changing climate

An exploration of a pathways approach planning for climate change adaptation of natural resources in the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment.

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Key People

Lead researchers

Dr Lauren Rickards

Dr Lauren Rickards

Senior Lecturer, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies

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Dr Karyn Bosomworth

Dr Karyn Bosomworth

Vice Chancellor’s Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

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Program Researchers

Higher Degree Research Students

Related Content

Events

Flammable regions, climate change and urban sprawl: how the American West was spun

This seminar considers the interrelationship between regional characterisations of fire-prone landscapes including scientific portrayals of wildfire and their associated risks, and resulting public sector management responses to suburbanisation and climate change.

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Between resistance and resilience: a study of flood risk management in the Don Valley (UK)

The aim of this presentation is to examine flood risk management in England as a combined environmental, socio-technical and socio-cultural process, using a specific case study of the Don Valley in South Yorkshire. Flooding is a recurrent threat in England. Moreover, according to various authors, governments in England as in many other countries have increasingly favoured […]

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Urban adaptation in unequal cities: Challenges in meeting the needs of city-level and local actors

Resilience and climate adaptation are concepts increasingly used in urban policies and plans.  In the context of cities and towns with high levels of inequality, one might argue that building resilience and investing in adaptation is of urgent important to reduce exposure and sensitivity of vulnerable groups, particularly as these groups frequently have a low […]

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Urbanisation: Driver of Disaster Risk or Opportunity for Climate Resilience

The assumption that urban disaster risk is set to rise is increasingly acknowledged and shared by academics and practitioners. However, the existing scholarship has largely focused on rising hazard exposure resulting from urbanisation, while the urbanisation effects on other risk factors such as societal sensitivity or the urban capacity to deal with disasters and crises have […]

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RMIT Sustainability Showcase 15th September

Universities are catalysts of change as sites of innovation, creating solutions for global problems. RMIT is committed to engaging with its community of passionate people to embed sustainability across Learning &Teaching, Research and operations. Join the RMIT Student Union’s Sustainability department, Careers and Employability, and RMIT’s Sustainability Committee and Property Services at the Sustainability Showcase. A […]

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Petty trade in the rubble: reflecting on urban resilience in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Join us for a seminar by David Smith, our guest from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, as he present his work on urban resilience in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The research develops a systemic understanding of marketplaces and questions means to build on them to strengthen urban resilience. It studies the way three marketplaces in Port-au-Prince Haiti function, have […]

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Urban farming’s ends and challenges: Comparative notes on heavy metal contamination and land access dynamics in New York, Rome, and Chongqing

Over the past few decades, many have been been looking to urban food production as a potential solution to many environmental and social ills. Join our guest Salvatore Engel-di Mauro from SUNY New Paltz University, New York as he explores some of the major environmental and social challenges relative to fieldwork results from New York, Rome, […]

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Climate Adaptation Pathways for Elwood: Accounting for synergies between climate adaptation measure

Recent climate change adaptation plans in Australia call for appropriate risk management strategies for assets and services via implementation of enhanced disaster resilience strategies and policies to facilitate climate resilience across the community. This can be seen translated into a number of action plans such flood plain management plans, coastal adaptation pathways, city water plans […]

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Slow Emergencies Workshop

The Slow Emergencies Workshop will be held in Adelaide between 2-4 July 2016. Confirmed speakers include: Kevin Grove (Florida International University) Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro (New Platz SUNY) Paul Brown (UNSW/Nuclear Futures Project) Matthew Kearnes (UNSW) Lauren Rickards (RMIT) Kirsty Douglas Modern categories of emergency generally focus on “bounded events” that explode out of the assumed substrate […]

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Re-inventing the social: resilience, design and affirmative biopolitics in post- Sandy New York City

Critical engagements with resilience are increasingly converging around a standard narrative. In fields such as geography and international relations, this narrative broadly asserts that resilience is a novel mechanism for extending and consolidating the ongoing neoliberalisation of social and ecological relations. Resilience, these critics assert, is neoliberal precisely because it provides a positive justification for […]

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Resilience, Melbourne Style

Although resilience is now a ubiquitous term, the ways in which it is being taken up in diverse contexts is necessarily varied. This begs the question: what does or could resilience in Melbourne mean? What aspects of contemporary Melbourne, and its history and possible futures, are shaping how resilience is being or could be applied? […]

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Epoch-alypse now: is the Anthropocene a scientific concept?

It is said that we have (recently) moved out of the Holocene epoch and entered the Anthropocene; that humans are now the dominant geological force shaping the Earth itself, and that our species is a force of nature exceeding other natural forces. Despite sounding like, and claiming to be, a geological epoch, the term Anthropocene […]

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Avoiding the Boomerang Effect

The impact of private property rights and regulatory takings doctrines on implementing retreat from rising seas in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Legal issues can complicate the implementation of coastal retreat as an effective response to sea level rise. Through comparative analysis, we determine if private property rights protection are related to the […]

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News & Blog

Climate change – an opportunity to rethink, restore and reboot

While climatic changes can be hard to put a finger on, many farmers agree that their rules of thumb for how weather behaves and seasons unfold increasingly feels a bit wobbly.

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RMIT leads the conversation on climate change and the future of cities

RMIT is teaming up with industry in Europe to plan for the impacts of climate change on cities, such as droughts and flooding, and to take stock of what city leaders around the world are doing.

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Reusing wastewater & stormwater: Will it cure water insecurity in the city?

Water is one of our most precious resources. The management of urban water has evolved over time to address new challenges faced by cities

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Urban researchers shine at RMIT Research Awards

Three researchers from the Centre for Urban Research have been recognised by RMIT University for their outstanding research contributions and industry collaboration.

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Global Forum for Urban and Regional Resilience

Lauren Rickards, co-leader of the Climate Change and Resilience (CCR) research program, and Raven Cretney, PhD student, represented the CUR at a recent workshop at the Global Forum for Urban and Regional Resilience (GFURR) at Virginia Tech, in Arlington, Virginia.

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Re-imagining Cities

Pushing up through the Earth, out through the dirt of the lower strata towards the bright stratosphere, cities are emerging out of the Earth’s surface like a voracious vine.

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Planning to help our natural landscapes adapt to climate change

Climate projections for Australia tell us that children born since the millennium can expect anything from 1.7oC to 5.1oC degrees of warming in their lifetimes.

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Darebin Climate Forum 15 June 2016

In Darebin, for World Environment Day 2016, a panel of prominent climate change experts discussed the current climate situation, why we should be taking action, and what local governments, other levels of government and individuals can do to address climate change.

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‘The urban’: a concept under stress in an interconnected world

Are humans now an “urban species”? Do we now live in an “Urban Age”?

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World Environment Day in a shifting ‘environment’

What does World Environment Day mean in a world in which we are no longer sure what ‘environment’ means?

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Meet Stephen Flood: expert in climate adaption

Recently, Stephen Flood Post Doctoral Fellow at the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute at Victoria University of Wellington, and the Director of Research and Pacific Projects at SmartEarth Ireland, visited the Centre for Urban Research to discuss his working paper on the legal issues affecting coastal retreat as an effective response to sea level rise.

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Has the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge benefited Melbourne?

The selection of Melbourne to participate in the international 100 Resilient Cities program sponsored by the New York-based Rockefeller Foundation generated a mix of hopes, expectations and concerns.

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CCR researchers look beyond the city boundary

This April, members of the CCR research program presented on the group and their research at a meeting of the Victorian Universities Rural and Regional Research Network hosted for the first time at RMIT.

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The two-year wait for Hazelwood mine fire charges shows the system needs to change

Victoria’s Environmental Protection Authority has brought charges against four companies over the Hazelwood coal mine fire, which burned for 45 days in February and March 2014, blanketing the nearby town of Morwell in smoke.

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