Email from Griffith University
Cities Research Institute Newsletter
Issue 3 - November 2018

A Message from the Director

Dear Colleagues


In my last message I’d just returned from Europe…on this occasion I’ve recently been in Vietnam for a few weeks, initially at a conference of the World Technopolis Association at which Griffith University joined an academic cooperation with 17 other universities, and then on holiday in various towns and cities.  On this first visit of mine to the country I was struck by the beauty of Vietnam and the friendliness of its people, who were always patient with my extremely limited vocabulary and complete inability to master any semblance of tonal variation.  But I was also struck by at least two aspects of urban life, which probably apply in rural areas as well.  First, it appears that you can use the street level of your property for pretty much anything you choose – selling food, servicing motorbikes, building furniture or even simply for living.  While I’m aware that corruption is a significant problem, the formal regulatory regime that governs street front usage seems to be very different to what we experience in Australia.  This might help account for their remarkable economic growth rate in the last 25 years and offer some pointers to how we in Australia might adapt to changing economic conditions.  Second, I couldn't escape the dominance of small motorbikes as the preferred mode of transport and the capacity of these bike riders to operate successfully without substantial investment in traffic management infrastructure.  It made me think that in Australia we invest vast amounts of public money in road infrastructure that is premised on our inability to drive sensibly and courteously.  While horns are honked all the time on Vietnamese roads, this seemed to be driven by a desire to let people know what you were going to do rather than by anger…a bit more of that attitude on the M1 between Brisbane and the Gold Coast would not go amiss. 

The rest of this newsletter captures some of the achievements of CRI researchers and demonstrates the incredible breadth and depth of our research capacity.  From coastal engineering and hydrodynamics, through climate change capacity building in Pacific islands, to water management in remote Indigenous communities, our researchers are demonstrating how to combine scholarly excellence with practical and policy relevance.  And our PhD students are also making significant impacts, not only with their own research but in the jobs they take and the work they do after graduation.

As well as our new research groups, described on the CRI website, we are working with a number of colleagues from elsewhere at Griffith and beyond in developing a major new program of research on the theme of Sea Cities, under the leadership of Professor Joerg Baumeister.  Look out for further details of this exciting new program and how you can contribute to its ambitious research agenda.

As we approach the end of the academic year, I hope you will be able to recharge your batteries over the break and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year, if not before.

Paul Burton

Director, Cities Research Institute

Paul WTA Oct 2018- Nov 2018
World Technolopolis Association MOU signing


Architecture expert invited to join research team at Tonji University
Associate Professor Leigh Shutter has been invited by the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP), Tongji University to be a Tonji University Visiting Research Fellow as part of an international heritage conservation research team in 2019 and 2020. The fellowship includes a 6 week residency in Shanghai each year.

Recognised as a National Research leader in his field
Amir Etemad Shahidi_Griffith CRI--7_Low ResDr Amir Etemad-Shahidihas been recognised as a National research leader in the field of Ocean and Marine Engineering. Amir’s fields of expertise are Coastal Engineering, Environmental Fluid Dynamics and Hydroinformatics and he has over 20 years of academic experience focusing mostly on numerical and laboratory modelling of coastal processes.
This recognition was announced recently in the new edition of The Australian’s Research magazine. Their research leaders list is based on big data analysis of up-to-date publicly available information covering 250 individual fields of research. The metrics that matter in the world of research – such as the number of published peer reviewed papers, the quality of the journals they are published in, the number of citations, and the time period in which this happens have been used in developing this new national ranking. Amir has published around 100 peer reviewed papers and his H-Index is 20 with more than 1300 citations.

Capacity building in Coastal hazard management in Vanuatu
Last September members of the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management’s Community Engagement program were invited by the Vanuatu Government to deliver a CoastEd session in Port Vila, Vanuatu, working with a range of stakeholders in effective community engagement techniques and activities. During a two-day workshop, participants were involved in a role-playing game developed by the Centre, which had a focus on coastal hazard management.

This is the first time that CoastEd sessions have been delivered outside Australia and we hope this will lead to more capacity building programs using the expertise of over a decade of successful community engagement on the Gold Coast.

Maggie article (1)
Maggie article (2)
Maggie article (3)

Development of climate change adaptation plan for two critical sectors of Queensland - Dr Fahim Tonmoy
The Queensland Government has committed to implementing the Climate Adaptation Strategy, Q-CAS. As part of Q-CAS, eight Sector Adaptation Plans (SAPs) are being developed that outline how the Queensland Government will work with sector stakeholders to identify adaptation needs and prioritise adaptation actions. SAPs will provide a mechanism for stakeholders to collaborate, prioritise adaptation activities, address complex and crosscutting issues, identify opportunities and potential financing mechanisms.

Two of these SAPs, one on Human Health and Wellbeing Sector (H-CAP) and Emergency Management Sector (EM-SAP), have been led by National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) in which CRI member Dr Fahim Tonmoy played a critical role. Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford launched EM-SAP on the 7th September 2018 and Health Minister Steven Miles launched H-CAP on the 11th September 2018. After their launch, these two projects received wide coverage in the national and state media (ABC news for H-CAP, ABC news for EM-SAP). An Opinion piece co-authored by Dr Fahim Tonmoy about H-CAP has also been published in Sydney Morning Herald.

Presentations and papers abound for Dr Cara Beal
Cara presented at the IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition in Tokyo (Sept 17-21st) on the RICES remote water management project. This is one of the most prestigious event in the global water calendar and the session was very well attended. Cara was also invited to attend a Dinner at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo for prominent Australian water professionals attending the Congress. She had an opportunity to discuss her work on remote Indigenous water management and the Water for Women fund - both of which were spoken about with great passion by the Australian Ambassador in his keynote speech at the dinner.

A paper by Cara and colleagues, including PhD candidate Melissa Jackson entitled,
Identifying the key motivations for high water use in remote Indigenous communities using a socio-technical approach won the 2018 Best Paper/Presentation award at the Northern Queensland Australian Water Association conference in July.  A related paper entitled A collaborative approach to improving water security in remote Cape York and Torres Strait Island communities was also presented in a plenary session at the recent Queensland AWA Conference, by Melissa Jackson and Toni Veronese from TSIRC.

Cara Beal (Nov 1)
Cara Beal Nov 3

Interested in Tiny Houses? This resource is worth a read
Dr Heather Shearer is part of the team who produced the Tiny House Planning Resource (esc Consulting, Plannery, Q Shelter, The Tiny House Co and Tiny Consulting) which provides comprehensive information relevant to Australian planning and building. The resource has been selected as a finalist in the 2018 Planning Institute of Australia Awards for Planning Excellence – Queensland in the category: Planning Ideas, Small Project Category.

Heather and Paul Burton's paper on a typology of Tiny Houses was also published recently in Housing, Theory and Society, view here.

Mapping the Social and Affordable Housing Supply Chain
Dr Judy Kraatz is the project leader on a new Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre project which aims to improve the productivity, effectiveness and efficiency of the system. The resultant multi-layered supply chain map will facilitate a strategic yet pragmatic understanding of the complexities of the system. It will highlight: interactions, strengths and weaknesses; areas for improvement; gaps in knowledge to establish research priorities; skills development needs; and innovation opportunities.

This map (focussing on public, community and non-market rental housing) describes the various elements of this complex system, integrating asset and service elements across nine domains: community, economics, education, employment, environment, health and well-being, housing, social and urban amenity. Key elements to be explored include: policy drivers and players; funding and financing mechanisms; procurement and delivery approaches; metrics, indicators and data; demographics; housing typologies; labour market dynamics; social and environmental systems; integrated, shared and disruptive infrastructure; asset management; the production supply chain; and sector-wide skills, industry capability and capacity building.

The map will enable stakeholders involved in social and affordable housing policy, programs and delivery to more accurately identify opportunities for improvement, innovation, research and skills development.
Dr Judy Kraatz

Associate Professor Cheryl Desha attended this recent event hosted by the Fifth Estate which discussed the future of everything. Read more here

Lavinia Poruschi, formerly a PhD scholar within the Institute and now working as a Research Scientist in Econometric and Spatial Analysis, Land & Water at CSIRO recently published an article in Science Direct titled: 
Energy justice, the built environment, and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy transitions in urban Australia: A dynamic panel data analysis 

News just in
Congratulations to Dr Natalie Osborne  who has been awarded a 2018 Griffith Grant for Learning and Teaching! Natalie is the lead  for the project titled: New Narratives for Planning in the Anthropocene: Reimagining Urban and Environmental Planning education using values-based and transformative pedagogies to assure graduate employability.

CRI researchers paper gets special treatment
The paper 'Different stories from different approaches in evaluating property value up-lift:  Evidence from the Gold Coast Light Rail system in Australia' co-authored by CRI’s Dr Barbara Yen and Dr Heather Shearer with Professor Mulley, has been placed among the top 3% of 6000+ papers submitted for consideration in the Transportation Research Board’s Transportation Research Record.  In recognition of this achievement, the paper is going to be featured at the TRB Annual meeting with advance publication and publicising via blogs, press and social media.  The TRB Annual meeting is the largest transportation meeting in the US, attracting over 13,000 participants with 5,000 presentations in more than 800 sessions.


The future of strategic land use planning
CRI PhD candidate Ian McNicol, supervised by Professor Paul Burton and Professor Rodger Tomlinson, discusses this important topic.

An important role for strategic land use planning policy has been to support orderly population and economic growth in Australia. At the same time it provides some protection from inappropriate development for natural and cultural assets.  At the political and policy formation levels the traditional planning focus on the economic and physical aspects of urban growth can crowd out less immediate planning issues and this in turn makes it harder to drive the change required to achieve sustainable and adapted communities under climate change. 

Sea level rise will transform our coastal landscapes and climate effects will alter human and natural environments.  Past and most current policy reflects assumptions of stable landscapes and climate.  As these assumptions no longer hold, policy making will need to address the expected long-term changes and accommodate increased uncertainty. 

Land use policy making will need to respond to a situation of inexorable and uncertain change.  The form of the policy response is being investigated by one of the CRI’s HDR students, Ian McNicol.   Ian is Registered Planner with over 30 years of experience in land use planning, natural resource management and policy analysis.  Current strategic land use planning practices will need to be complemented by a new and expanded set of skills.  Sound policy for adapted futures will require an appreciation of very long-term change to landscapes and communities.  The policy context is likely to include modified or new institutions and ongoing community engagement for envisioning of far and adapted futures.  

Examining Urban Greenspace Provision in Canadian Cities
CRI PhD candidate Chris Boulton FAILA, has recently returned from six months in Canada to complete her Endeavour Research Fellowship, awarded by the Australian Department of Education and Training. As a temporary Canadian resident, the visit provided the opportunity to examine the factors that shape urban greenspace provision, from the perspective of municipal government – specifically Surrey, BC and Edmonton, AB. The data collection involved interviews with approximately 20 senior staff, politicians and community greenspace advocates, site visits, ethnographic and document analysis for each municipality, whilst embedded with professional urban and greenspace planning and design teams at City Hall with both Surrey (Parks, Planning, Research and Design) and Edmonton (City Planning). Chris also took the opportunity to visit the City of Vancouver’s innovation hub, CityStudio as well as exploring emerging initiatives in community engagement and cemetary management in this important but often neglected type of urban greenspace, interviewing staff from Vancouver and Victoria, as well as those from Surrey and Edmonton.

Chris’ visit was hosted by Prof. Meg Holden, Director – Urban Studies Program at Simon Fraser University, who has generously hosted a number of CRI visits in recent years. This research builds on the findings from Chris’ conference papers presented at the American Association of Geographers (AAG) in April, the State of Australian Cities (SOAC) in 2017 (Adelaide) and 2015 (Gold Coast). In collaboration with CRI’s Dr Aysin Dedekorkut-Howes and Prof. Jason Byrne of University of Tasmania, Chris also published the findings of her literature review recently in Landscape and Urban Planning and further publications are forthcoming that will report on the Surrey case study findings as well as a comparative case study of Logan, Qld.

CB_River Valley Funicular-Edmonton
Green Timbers - Surrey River Valley Furnicular - Edmonton

CRI HDR candidate Emiliya Suprun takes on additional roles
As well as undertaking her PhD, Emiliya was recently honoured to be elected as Vice President of the Student Chapter of the System Dynamics Society as well as General Secretary of the Australasian Chapter of the Systems Dynamic Society. Emiliya's thesis title is 'Development of an integrated systems model of construction innovation in the Russian Federation'. 

Congratulations Emiliya! We're sure she will be an asset to the Society.


Griffith University Cities Research Institute
p: +61 7 555 27269
Nathan Campus - Sir Samuel Griffith Building (N78),level 3, 170 Kessels Rd, Nathan QLD 4111
Gold Coast Campus - Building G51, Bridge Lane, off Edmund Rice Drive, Gold Coast QLD 4222

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