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New research for AHURI’s National Cities Research Program

Projects to focus of First Nations voices in urban policy and urban climate change 

08 Jun 2022

AHURI is pleased to confirm two new projects have commenced as part of the National Cities Research Program, with a focus on urban climate change and the potential for First Nations people to benefit urban policy development.

The scoping research project ‘Improving Australian climate change adaption strategies: learning from international experience’ is being led by Dr Francesca Perugia from Curtin University and will investigate risk prevention strategies for natural disaster events caused by climate change. It will contribute evidence to inform the implementation of best practice sustainability policy in Australia and aims to understand how international best practices and approaches to sustainable urban development could be adopted within an Australian policy framework.

Government plays a key role in helping address the economic and social impacts caused by natural disaster by implementing policies and adopting strategies to protect and support communities through climate adaptation. However, when discussing housing delivery, the ever-increasing occurrence of natural disaster events and their impact on the housing market is not presently considered. Currently, only the insurance sector addresses the direct impact of natural disasters on houses, with the increased cost of natural disasters passed on to policyholders.

The research is very relevant and timely as Australian capital and regional cities have been heavily impacted by the increasing frequency, duration and intensity of extreme weather events such as bushfires, floods and changing weather patterns.

The second research project, ‘Voicing First Nations Country, community, and culture in urban policy’ is being led by Professor Libby Porter from RMIT University.

The fact that urban places in Australia are Country, the unceded lands and waters of First Nations peoples, has been barely recognised in urban policy practice, and First Nations peoples remain structurally excluded from having a meaningful voice and authority about their own lands and waters. In addition, there is little understanding about the actual experiences and expectations of First Nations peoples attempting to engage with urban policy. Understanding this will help reveal implications of this for the capacity and readiness of the urban policy professions.

This research will inform a research and urban policy agenda toward a respectful and sovereign relationship with Country, community and culture.

You can find out more about AHURI’s Cities Research Agenda, including a series of Briefs examining 13 key policy areas, and completed research at the Cities Hub of the AHURI website.

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