Cities and Climate
In this report we present evidence that strong action to increase urban vegetation will become imperative in our three largest cities to reduce serious heatwave impacts by 2060–2080, even with strong climate action. Without strong climate action — and continuing business-as-usual — Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney will regularly experience temperatures above recommended health thresholds.
Green infrastructure (like planting native trees and plants) takes time to establish to its maximum effectiveness, so acting early is critical for meeting future needs. This study also finds that local areas more vulnerable to additional city heat are typically more disadvantaged suburbs with lower levels of protective vegetation cover.
Research Team: Dr Lucy Richardson, Communications & Media Studies, Monash University; Dr James Goldie, Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub; Ana Ross, Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub; Luke Huels
This research project investigates how the processes of experimenting with alternative urban infrastructure systems can lead to sustainable urban transformations.
Australia is at the cusp of significant urban infrastructure transformation: with $200 billion set to be invested in revitalising key sectors including water and energy in the coming decade. At the same time there is a global and national push to delivering sustainable cities with flexible, resilient infrastructure. This demands new thinking, technologies, systems and governance practices. This project, focusing on urban water and energy sectors, will examine how the processes of experimenting with alternative urban infrastructure systems can lead to sustainable urban transformations.
Project | Net Zero Precincts
An interdisciplinary approach to decarbonising cities
To meet the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Change Agreement, we need to transition our economies and cities to net zero emissions by 2050. It’s a transformation as big as the first industrial revolution. Achieving it will require collaboration and co-creation of knowledge between all sectors of society - governments, businesses, universities and communities.
Monash’s Net Zero Precincts Project will provide an exemplary demonstration project for transitioning our cities — one that can be replicated in other places and contexts around the world. This four year ARC Linkage project will develop and test a new interdisciplinary approach to help cities and urban regions reach net zero emissions. It will do this by taking the precinct as an optimal scale for urban transition. Through our demonstration project, we’ll experiment, learn and test what works at a precinct scale.
Research Team: Professor Rob Raven; Professor Sarah Pink; Associate Professor Megan Farrelly; Professor Geoff Webb; Dr Darren Sharp; Professor Ariel Liebman; Associate Professor Selby Coxon; Associate Professor Peter Graham
Project | The Citarum Program
Creating clean, healthy and productive rivers and communities.
Millions of people rely on the Citarum River for their water and energy. The river sustains livelihoods through agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing and ecotourism. Yet, it is also one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Each day 20,000 tonnes of solid waste, and 280,000 tonnes of industrial wastewater are discharged directly into the river, mostly raw or untreated sewage from domestic households.
Prioritising healthy environments, wellbeing and access to clean water and waste services has never been more important. But solutions are often developed and applied in isolation from each other. An integrative, socio-technical approach for sustainable transformation of the river corridor is needed.
A transdisciplinary research program working at the intersections of health, environment, and water and sanitation.
RISE is trialling a new water sensitive approach to water and sanitation management in 24 informal settlements across Makassar, Indonesia and Suva, Fiji. Working with communities, governments, local leaders and partner institutions, RISE is co-designing location-specific solutions that integrate green infrastructure, such as constructed wetlands, to strengthen the whole-of-life water and sanitation cycle.
Underpinned by the emerging discipline of ‘planetary health’, RISE success will be measured by the health and well-being of residents – particularly children under five years of age – and the ecological diversity of the surrounding environment.
Research Team: View the Research Team here
Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub
The Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub conducts social research and leads impact focused projects to build media and policy infrastructure that adequately addresses climate change in Australia.
By applying research strategies from media studies, journalism studies, sociology, political science and climate science, we seek to improve public understanding of climate change. We do this by partnering with mainstream media entities such as television networks and community newspapers to deliver localised climate information to large audiences in meaningful ways. We also conduct rigorous research into public attitudes towards climate change, and ways to better communicate climate solutions, as social research in these areas is imperative to delivering the most effective communication programs.
Monash Sustainable Development Institute
Monash Sustainable Development Institute is a world leading institute bringing about change all over the world through pioneering research, education and innovation. Our success is driven by our passion and unwavering commitment to making the world a better place for all.
We bring together the best thinkers and doers from across Monash, academia, industry, government and the community in transdisciplinary partnerships to help achieve the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
ClimateWorks Australia is a not-for-profit founded by Monash University and the Myer Foundation to bridge the gap between research and climate action. For the past decade ClimateWorks has played a unique role in Australia’s transition to a net zero future. ClimateWorks Australia works within the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and is accelerating the transition to net zero emissions for Australia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. As part of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, ClimateWorks is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on climate action.