The papers presented at the 2015 State of Australian Cities National Conference (SOAC 7) were organised into seven broad themes but all shared, to varying degrees, a common focus on the ways in which high quality academic research can be used in the development and implementation of policy. The relationship between empirical evidence and theoretical developments that are presented as part of our scholarly endeavours and policy processes is rarely clear and straightforward. Sometimes, perhaps because of the fortuitous alignment of various factors, our research has a direct and positive impact on policy. Sometimes it takes longer to be noticed and have influence and, sometimes, there is no little or no evidence of impact beyond or even with the academy. And while there are things we can do to promote the existence of our work and to present it in more accessible formats to people we believe to be influential, ultimately the appreciation and application of our work lies in the hands of others.
This paper is one of 164 papers that have each been reviewed and refereed by our peers and revised accordingly. While they each will have been presented briefly at the SOAC conference, they can now be read or re-read at your leisure. We hope they will stimulate further debate and discussion and form a platform for further research. Adapted from the SOAC 7 conference proceedings introduction by Paul Burton and Heather Shearer
The State of Australian Cities (SOAC) national conferences have been held biennially since 2003 to support interdisciplinary policy-related urban research.
SOAC 7 was held in the City of Gold Coast from 9-11 December 2015. The conference featured leading national and local politicians and policy makers who shared their views on some of the current challenges facing cities and how these might be overcome in the future.
With regard to separation of food scraps for composting, this research identified that there are two important aspects often overlooked when the focus is only on behaviour: 1. Policy makers need to ensure that there are socio-technical systems supporting diverse groups of people...Read more
Transportation planners are often looking for efficiency in transportation but this article in Science Advances has also identified that resilience is an important city design feature. Planning for when disruptions occur can help to avoid city gridlock.Read more
Rapid global urbanization and the increase of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect make urban cooling a necessity as well as an opportunity to increase the liveability and amenity of cities. This review is a scoping study of the relevant worldwide UHI mitigation/adaptation...Read more
Cities can be seen as complex urban systems that mobilise local and global resource flows to meet the needs of their inhabitants and their manufacturing sector. However, the local consumption of resources can be responsible for major local and global environmental changes that impact the human health and wellbeing inside and outside of the boundary of the urban system.
Abstract: Visions and Pathways 2040 is a research and engagement project that seeks to envision possible future forms of Australian cities and lifestyles in 2040 if they have achieved an 80% reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions (on 2013 levels) and have addressed broader resilience issues, and, secondly, to ‘backcast’ from visions possible pathways to the present that may, in turn, sugge
Theories of sustainability transitions aim to explain the processes, pathways and actors that are involved in transformations in technologies and practices. Whilst there is a growing body of research developing theoretical understandings, there has been less documented on how theories are utilised and applied by practitioners themselves.
Researchers have found that open space provision (e.g. parkland) is vitally important for meeting the social, economic and environmental needs of urban populations globally. The international literature on park provision identifies many factors that influence a local government’s ability to provide adequate parkland including political agendas, governance tools and resources.