Blog

Enhancing Science Impact: Bridging Research, Policy and Practice for Sustainability

16 November 2017

Sustainability challenges blur the boundaries between academic disciplines, between research, policy and practice, and between states, markets and society. There is also significant policy interest in ensuring that the research undertaken by universities and other scientific organisations has impact.

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High energy costs make vulnerable households reluctant to use air conditioning: study

14 November 2017

The trifecta of rising electricity prices, soaring temperatures and concerns over possible blackouts risks increasing heat-related deaths and illness this summer, as households struggle to afford to run cooling appliances.

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Sharing economy sounds caring, but let’s put it to the ethical city test

10 November 2017

More than ever, cities face multiple crises posing paradoxical opportunities. Key challenges for cities in the urban century are climate change, inequality and governance.

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How do we turn a drain into valued green space? First, ask the resident

The green infrastructure of our cities includes both publicly owned, designed and delineated areas and less formal, unplanned areas of vegetation — informal green spaces.

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Water or coal? The increasingly clear choice

31 October 2017

Questions about the future of coal are often presented as a rational choice between energy sources with different economic costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and levels of reliability.

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Food Sharing in Cities

As cities grow in size and consumption, sharing has been suggested as a possible means to conserve resources, prevent waste and provide new social and economic relations.

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Some suburbs are being short-changed on services and liveability – which ones and what’s the solution?

20 October 2017

Australia’s population has grown by 3.8 million over the last decade. Of the capital cities, Melbourne has grown the fastest – close to 1 million newcomers in the ten years to June 2016.

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City-by-city analysis shows our capitals aren’t liveable for many resident

18 October 2017

We know what makes for healthy and liveable communities, which in turn produces massive payoffs. But we often lack comprehensive policies and frameworks to deliver on the promise.

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Let’s get this straight, habitat loss is the number-one threat to Australia’s species

Earlier this month, Australia’s outgoing Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews told ABC radio that land clearing is not the biggest threat to Australia’s wildlife. His claim caused a stir among Australia’s biodiversity scientists and conservation professionals, who have plenty of evidence to the contrary.

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How Melbourne’s west was greened

17 October 2017

Urban greening projects in Melbourne’s west are contributing to making the region cooler, more pleasant and healthier to live in and travel through. The key to this success is the Greening the West initiative.

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We’re investing heavily in urban greening, so how are our cities doing?

28 September 2017

Governments at all levels invest a lot in greening Australian suburbs. Yet, in a recent report, we show that the greening efforts of most of our metropolitan local governments are actually going backwards.

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Sustainable cities? Australia’s building and planning rules stand in the way of getting there

27 September 2017

Australia’s building and land-use policy settings fall well short of what’s needed to make meaningful progress toward creating sustainable cities.

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This is why we cannot rely on cities alone to tackle climate change

07 September 2017

A lot of faith is vested in cities to tackle climate change, and with good reason.

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Testing public transport policies with travel and health outcomes

18 August 2017

Public transport is a marker of a city’s liveability and an important social determinant of health.

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What the baby bonus boost looks like across ten years

15 August 2017

The baby bonus did its job, encouraging people to have more children at a time when fertility rates were low, our research finds. Given Australian men and women desire 1.5 more children than they actually have, it might be time to consider policies like this again.

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‘Smart home’ gadgets promise to cut power bills but many lie idle – or can even boost energy use

14 August 2017

“Smart” home control devices promise to do many things, including helping households reduce their energy bills. However, our research published today suggests that these devices are not the “easy” answer to energy management.

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This is how regional rail can help ease our big cities’ commuter crush

07 August 2017

In Sydney and Melbourne, the squeeze is on. Population is booming; house prices are still rising; roads and trains are congested. Australian governments generally have ignored the benefits of relating metropolitan and regional planning.

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The National Electricity Market has served its purpose – it’s time to move on

21 July 2017

Despite the creation of a new Energy Security Board to try to hold regulators and policy makers to account, the ability of the present structure to deliver is uncertain.

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Low-energy homes don’t just save money, they improve lives

Household energy use is a significant contributor to global carbon emissions. International policy is firmly moving towards technology-rich, low- and near-zero-energy homes.

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Five lessons from Tokyo, a city of 38m people, for Australia, a nation of 24m

11 July 2017

The release of 2016 Census data provides a good opportunity to reflect on the future growth of Australian cities. And what better example of the future to use than Tokyo?

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Australians are working longer so they can pay off their mortgage debt

29 June 2017

Rising mortgage debt is affecting everything from employment to spending, as Australians approach retirement, our study finds. Higher levels of housing debt among pre-retirees are linked to them working for longer.

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Airport rail link can open up new possibilities for the rest of Melbourne

Melburnians have been talking about a train to Tullamarine Airport since well before it opened. Now Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made clear his enthusiasm for an airport rail line, with or without state government support.

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Who’s responsible? Housing policy mismatched to our $6 trillion asset

22 June 2017

Does the Australian government have the policy, organisational and conceptual capacity to handle the country’s A$6 trillion housing stock?

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Climate change – an opportunity to rethink, restore and reboot

16 June 2017

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.