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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Projects

HEET: Housing Energy Efficiency Transitions

2018–2021

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

2016–2017

User perspectives in purpose built low energy housing

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

2016–2021

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

2013

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

2010–2011

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

2006–2010

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

2014–2016

Research into homebuyer decision making and lived experience of households.

News & Blog

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.

News

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.

Media

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.

Blog

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.

News

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.

Blog

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.

Blog

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.

Blog

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.

Blog

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.

Media

RMIT shapes UN’s New Urban Agenda with Massive Open Online Course

19 October 2016

RMIT University today launches a first-of-its-kind Ethical Cities open online course at the UN’s global cities summit to connect people around the world with ethical concept and practice for cities.

Blog

Sustainable housing’s expensive, right? Not when you look at the whole equation

25 August 2016

Sustainable housing can also have important benefits for some of the most vulnerable members of our community, as the report released this week shows.

News

New book explores the rise of green spirited citizenship

21 June 2016

A new book edited and authored by RMIT urban experts examines the rise of the “sustainability citizens” movement and how it’s inspiring a new perception of citizenship for the better.

Publications

Higher Density Living Critical Policy Brief

This briefing draws upon the expertise of RMIT’s housing research community to inform policy makers and the wider community on critical challenges in addressing Melbourne’s housing needs

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The ethical city: A rationale for an urgent new urban agenda

Brendan Barrett, Professor Ralph Horne, John Fien

This article draws on examples of existing practices in cities that reflect a principled and ethical approach to leadership, governance, planning, economic development, sustainability and citizen engagement.

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