Professor Ralph Horne

Ralph Horne is the Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation for the College of Design and Social Context at RMIT University, supporting research performance and providing strategic leadership.

He has research expertise in urban social and policy change for sustainable design and development. He has extensive experience in environmental techniques and sustainability appraisal and has a specific research interest in low carbon urban transitions.

Ralph combines research leadership and participation in projects concerning the environmental, social and policy context of production and consumption in the urban environment.

Ralph is a registered research supervisor in the following areas:

  • Low carbon urban transitions, retrofitting and compact cities.
  • Housing and households, zero emission affordable and quality housing design and production, and the lived experience of households, including in indigenous Australia and Latin America.
  • Resilient urban futures, including socio-technical change, climate action planning and sustainability appraisal, in Australia, UK and South East Asian contexts.

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Investigating energy efficiency retrofit for post-carbon and equitable housing


This project aims to provide an analysis of housing retrofit and its links with household energy costs.

Buildings and precincts adapted for future climate change


User perspectives in purpose built low energy housing

Infill Developments: Housing Outcomes Metrics and Evaluation (Project HOME)


The project links housing outcomes to metrics and evaluation of housing design in the rapidly growing infill multi-residential sector.

EPA approaches to behaviour change


In partnership with BehaviourWorks at Monash University, Beyond Behaviour Change researchers conducted interviews and site visits with EPA field officers.

Assessing resilient urban systems to support long term adaptation to climate change


The Resilient Urban Systems project aimed to assess the capacity of community-level urban energy and water systems to support long term adaptation to climate change.

Towards Carbon Neutral Communities: Making the Transition


This project focused on the role of behaviour change initiatives and other non-technical interventions in transitioning towards carbon neutrality.

Lifetime Affordable and Tenable City Housing


Research into homebuyer decision making and lived experience of households.

News & Blog


How do we make ethical cities?

23 July 2021

As cities around world transition to a low carbon future, how do we ensure our places and communities remain fair for all?​ Experts in Australia, Europe and the UK share their insights on how cities can approach a decarbonised future in an ethically informed way.


Moving towards a circular economy for more sustainable housing

22 April 2021

RMIT urban researchers will lead a pioneering project examining how Australia’s housing sector can transition to a circular economy for more sustainable homes.


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.

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.


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.


Canberra model the key to creating successful new cities

21 October 2019

It often gets a bad rap, but Canberra could hold the secret to planning for Australia’s growing population and successfully decentralising our major cities, researchers say.


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.


How can high-density living house Victoria’s growing population?

23 November 2018

As our state’s numbers grow, we need plan how we accommodate every person. Here, our experts provide their insights on the critical challenges facing Melbourne’s housing needs.


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.


What can the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals do for cities?

19 April 2017

Our cities are increasingly beset by a lack of affordable housing, inequality, lagging infrastructure – the list goes on.


Fuzzy households in an era of urban growth

13 February 2017

Housing affordability stress is acute for both low-income households and a growing number of middle-income households, and with housing increasingly commodified and financialised, and as affordability reaches crisis levels, owner-occupation models are also being challenged.


Thinking about a sustainable retrofit? Here are three things to consider

16 January 2017

Sitting at home in the summer heat, your mind may start to wander to that fancy new air conditioner. But when it comes to making your house comfortable and sustainable, prevention is better than cure.


Building circular economy housing: An Australian story

Dr Louise Dorignon, Professor Ralph Horne, Adjunct Professor Julie Lawson, Hazel Easthope, Stefanie Dühr, Trivess Moore, Emma Baker, Professor Tony Dalton, Illustrated by Zhen Xiong

Visual summary

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Informing a strategy for circular economy housing in Australia

Professor Ralph Horne, Dr Louise Dorignon, Dr Louise Dorignon, Hazel Easthope, Stefanie Dühr, Trivess Moore, Emma Baker, Professor Tony Dalton, Hal Pawson, Peter Fairbrother

AHURI report

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