Dr Mittul Vahanvati

Mittul’s research focuses on the long-term impacts of housing reconstruction projects, the theory and practice of socio-ecological systems resilience and community-led approaches. Her field of research sites at the intersection of built environment and design, and human geography.

Mittul is currently working as a researcher with regional communities in Victoria (Australia) to co-produce their resilience action plan. She is also part of a team of researchers working on the UN-Habitat project “Climate Resilient Honiara” (Solomon Islands) for developing nature based solutions to informal settlements and urban spaces. Her research strengths include:

  • inter-disciplinary
  • inter-sectoral
  • cross-cultural
  • action-research
  • co-design and co-production approach

Mittul did her Masters of Sustainable development in the built environment from UNSW in Sydney, Australia and a Bachelor of Architecture from CEPT in Ahmedabad, India. Following her masters and before starting PhD, she practiced in architecture and urban design profession, mainly in the private sector, for more than seven years. Her PhD examined program decisions and processes during post-disaster shelter and settlement reconstruction that helped carve pathways for community to build their resilience in the longer term. She moved from practice to academia due to her passion for teaching and her intention to bridge the silos between industry and academia, and research and teaching. Her courses include experiential design+build studios, international humanitarian study tours or industry-partnered courses enabling students experience of real life projects, real clients and an opportunity to address some of the pressing challenges of our time such as climate change at local and micro scale.

Mittul is a lecturer at RMIT University Sustainability and Urban Planning and is available for PhD supervision.

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Related Content

Projects

Enhancing urban resilience to climate change impacts and natural disasters: Honiara

2019 (ongoing)

The overarching aim of this project is to enhance the resilience of the city and its inhabitants to current and future climate impacts and natural disasters.

Tarnagulla Community Resilience Action Plan

2018–2020

This project aims to develop a Resilience Action Plan with and for the Tarnagulla community.

News & Blog

News

Rising to the challenge: the critical role of women in climate leadership

08 March 2021

Female leadership in climate decision making is critical if we are to find effective solutions to environmental challenges. Meet two women leading action for more sustainable and resilient futures.

News

Assessing the impact of the Bushfire Royal Commission final report

09 November 2020

Set-up in the wake of the devastating 2019-20 bushfires, the Royal Commission has delivered its final report into national natural disasters. RMIT experts point to crucial gaps.

News

How can urban and environmental planning shape a post-pandemic future?

04 October 2020

The adversities of COVID-19 have no doubt changed the way we think about our environments. Here, our teachers discuss the role urban, regional and environmental planning has in shaping a post-pandemic future.

News

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.

Blog

Rebuilding from the ashes of disaster: this is what Australia can learn from India

27 January 2020

A key question facing us all after Australia’s unprecedented bushfires is how will we do reconstruction differently? We need to ensure our rebuilding and recovery efforts make us safer, protect our environment and improve our ability to cope with future disasters.

News

Meet Mittul Vahanvati: Expert in housing and community resilience

23 May 2019

The homes we live in, and the homes we’re building, are not what we need in a changing climate. Dr Mittul Vahanvati explains what this means and what we need to change to support climate resilience in Australia.

News

Seven ways climate change affects key Federal Election issues

06 May 2019

Climate action is rated as a top priority among voters in the lead up to this year’s Federal Election. How does it affect other key campaign issues?

Publications