Dr Bhavna Middha

Bhavna is an environmental sociologist and a social practice theorist. Her main research area is sustainable consumption, which she has investigated through topics such as food, energy and waste.

Bhavna is an ARC DECRA fellow and as an environmental sociologist focuses her work on sustainable consumption in the context of food and waste using social practice theories. As a trained architect and urban and environmental planner, spatialities and just transitions have been important lenses and motivations in her work on sustainable consumption and most of her work is situated in and developed for urban contexts. Her DECRA project titled, “Tackling food-related single-use plastics in diverse consumption contexts” aims to investigate the uneven impacts of interventions that target consumers’ engagement with single-use food plastics by utilising critical social science approaches.

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Projects

Café Lab

2023 (ongoing)

Cafe Lab is a zero-waste food justice cafe that aims to support insecure Melburnians and contribute to building a sustainable and low carbon hospitality sector.

Democratic Urban Development in the Digital Age (DEMUDIG)

2019–2021

This international research project is examining citizens’ use of the Internet and social media to participate in urban development processes, and city governments’ efforts to engage and respond to citizens through these channels.

The Work / Life Ecologies Project

2017–2019

The Work / Life Ecologies Project aims to understand staff and students’ broader lifestyles as part of a work-life ecology, occurring across a range of spaces, both physical and virtual.

Work/life ecologies: lifestyles, sustainability practices

2015–2017

This project aims to understand staff and students' broader lifestyles as part of a work-life ecology, occurring across a range of spaces, both physical and virtual.

Embedding sustainability in food practices: Investigating spaces of food provisioning and consumption for students at RMIT city campus

2016–2019

As large scale participants in food provisioning and consumption practices, academic institutions like universities have a crucial part to play in food sustainability transitions

News & Blog

CUR Stories

Cold storage research could put a freeze on red meat waste

25 October 2023

A new report shows inconsistent fridge temperatures and confusing cold storage advice could be contributing to meat waste in Aussie households.

CUR Stories

Report shows our homes must change for better health and living

25 November 2020

A new study examining Victorians’ lived experience during COVID-19 points to the design and quality of homes and neighbourhoods as a key mitigating factor in people’s capacity to cope with disasters.

CUR Stories

Councils often ignore residents on social media. How can digital platforms ensure they have a say in planning?

16 June 2020

Local governments across Australia are mandated to consult their residents on urban development issues. They are increasingly using digital platforms to do this.

Stimulus that retrofits housing can reduce energy bills and inequity too

03 June 2020

Stay-at-home orders and the economic crisis have increased the burden of energy costs on lower-income Australians. Poor housing quality and unequal access to home energy efficiency are hurting our most vulnerable households.

CUR Stories

New project investigates how COVID-19 impacts housing stress

28 May 2020

RMIT urban researchers have received funding from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute to investigate COVID-19’s impact on housing stress in Melbourne.

CUR Stories

Meet the women helping to improve how we live in cities and with nature

05 March 2020

As our cities evolve, so too should our approach to building and planning our urban habitats. Here, six RMIT urban researchers share how their work is shaping how we live in our cities and with nature.

CUR Stories

How can we improve our homes to be energy efficient?

04 October 2019

With rising energy bills the new normal, we need to focus on improving Victoria’s housing stock to help householders adapt. New research in Moreland is exploring the barriers and opportunities householders face in improving their homes.

CUR Stories

Food selfies show an appetite for flexible student eating spaces

14 August 2019

Food selfies taken on campus can offer a whole new way to rethink flexible student spaces and help combat food waste, suggests a new study.

CUR Stories

Meet our green research and teaching team

12 October 2015

RMIT’s academic green team is working to make the University’s ambitious sustainability vision a reality through teaching and research.

Publications

E-gentrification: Digital Community Engagement, Urban Change and Digital Rights to the City

In Citizen Participation in the Information Society Comparing Participatory Channels in Urban Development

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Participation and Influence in Urban Development: Does City E-Participation Strategy Matter?

Sissel Hovik, Sveinung Legard, Ian McShane, Dr Bhavna Middha, Kristin Reichborn-Kjennerud, José M. Ruano

In Citizen Participation in the Information Society Comparing Participatory Channels in Urban Development

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Using the capability approach to evaluate energy vulnerability policies and initiatives in Victoria, Australia

Nicola Willand, Dr Bhavna Middha, Gordon Walker

Local Environment The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability

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