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Research at CUSP is very dynamic with many projects happening simultaneously and at different stages of completion.

Now that you can see what we are busy doing, any good ideas for partnerships and/or future research projects are welcome.

SBEnrc Project 1.62: Sustainable Centres of Tomorrow: People and Place Peter Newman and Mike Mouritz

Australian cities are going through a transition, with a clear priority to make more productive, sustainable, liveable centres. This project follows on from previous SBEnrc research which examined how to deliver better connected and integrated cities using land development opportunities and how emerging public transport technologies such as the Trackless Tram could unlock this. This project will create a framework from world’s best practice principles, tools and governance models, tested against a number of Australian case studies for sustainable centres of tomorrow. The improved value outcomes of such urban design will complement the work done on transit enhanced value. The framework will establish how such design can accelerate public and private investment decisions for urban centres and integrated transit technology that are more people and place friendly.

SBEnrc Project 1.63: Exploring the Potential for Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to Enhance Transport Charlie Hargroves

This project will explore a range of digitally-driven opportunities and challenges in seeking to get cities moving and functioning better; with a focus on the application of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technologies to enhance the effectiveness of transport systems. The research will identify specific potential applications and outline where such technology can provide tangible benefits for the road transport sector and the associated policy and management structures. The project will focus on a set of partner-preferred use cases such as congestion management, road user pricing, asset management, mobility-as-a-service and freight logistics. Following this, the project will identify specific areas of application of the technologies going forward in collaboration with partners.

Changing individual behaviour towards decreasing animal product consumption Dora Marinova and Diana Bogueva

This research is funded through Rachel’s Network – a vibrant community of women–impassioned leaders dedicated to continue the work of Rachel Carson whose book Silent Spring laid the foundations of the environmental movement in the world. The project answers one of burning questions of our time, namely: What are the most effective interventions in changing behaviour of individuals towards decreasing animal product consumption?

Its aim is to analyse behaviour triggers (such as environmental reasons, health concerns, peer pressure, fashion diets or perceptions about masculinity) that can act as effective interventions in changing people’s food consumption, particularly in Australia where individual meat consumption is one of the highest in the world. It builds on the previous work conducted by Professor Dora Marinova and Dr Diana Bogueva related to social marketing as a mechanism for influencing individual behaviour for the common good which includes better public health and a healthier natural environment.

Food is underestimated in sustainability policy, mainly because millions of people are still suffering from undernourishment and starvation. The number of obese and malnourished people however is higher – more than a billion, causing high rates of non-communicable diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes) with the epidemic spreading worldwide due to transitioning to a western type animal protein-rich diets. The research will deliver evidence in relation to: (1) which behavioural triggers are likely to influence consumer behaviour; and (2) which are the factors that will normalise the consumption of plant-based meat alternatives.

Book leading to this project: Bogueva, D., Marinova, D., Raphaely, T. (eds) (2018) Handbook of Research on Social Marketing and Its Influence on Animal Origin Food Product Consumption, IGI Global, Hershey, PA, 453 p

The Handbook of Research on Social Marketing and Its Influence on Animal Origin Food Product Consumption was a finalist in the 2019 International Book Awards in the category Business: Marketing and Advertising category.

White Gum Valley

Stealth density in suburbia: Step House a sustainable first home for Gen Y Australians (
Architecture & Design feature on the Gen Y / Step House demonstration at WGV, including a mention of the CRCLCL. Read more.

Baugruppen model ditches developers so that apartment buyers save (
Article about ‘bauguppen’ model of development at WGV. Read more and watch the video.

2017 WA Architecture Awards (
Architecture & Design wrap-up of the WA 2017 Architecture Awards – Hassell awarded top prize – George Temple Poole Award – for Willetton Senior High School, and David Barr Architect won Sustainable Architecture and Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing categories for Gen Y House at WGV.

Learn more about the White Gum Valley project.

Citizens’ Deliberative Workshop on Climate Change for the G20 Summit in Germany, 2017 Janette Hartz-Karp, Dora Marinova, Rob Weymouth, Svetla Petrova and Jeff Kenworthy

On 20 May 2017, in Perth Western Australia, 39 citizens (23 civil society representatives, 9 academics and 7 postgraduate students) participated in the G20 Citizens’ Dialogue on Climate Change. This event was organised and facilitated by CUSP in collaboration with several civil society groups. The aim was to generate ideas recommending the most productive ways forward to deal with climate change around the following questions:

  • Q1. Which measures need to be taken by the G20 in order to both foster growth while also meeting social and ecological needs?
  • Q2. How can we take advantage of stronger international cooperation while respecting cultural and regional identity and diversity?
  • Q3. What should G20 political leaders do to ensure that everyone stands to benefit from global development?

The deliberation used a 21st Century Town Hall Meeting process supported by a lead facilitator, two themers and an innovative online platform WhatDoWeThink (WDWT).

A report outlining the outcomes from the deliberation was produced and later submitted to G20 and personally to the German Minister of Economic Affaires and Energy during the sitting of the Parliament in Berlin.

The Australian participants were energized by the opportunity to potentially have an input to the work of G20 because of Australian government’s reluctance to take a leadership role. This was an opportunity to bring the power back to the people and demonstrate how wise everyday citizens can be. The deliberation produced a clear favourite way forward for each question with specific ideas.

In summary:

  • Q1 – developing alternative growth measures to the current economic model;
  • Q2 – immediate advocacy for climate change mitigation and adaptation in order for Australia to
  • achieve the Paris agreement including carbon pricing; and
  • Q3 – alternative governance models for sharing knowledge, skills and resources.

The Australian report is part of a global submission with outcomes from 20 citizens’ deliberations in South Africa, India, USA, Serbia, Italy and Germany. Given G20’s critical global influence, this was a great opportunity for international collaboration.

Download the Participant Report: Citizens’ Workshop for the G20 Summit 2017

Indigenous participation in a low-carbon economy Dora Marinova

Funding body: Australian Research Council Linkage grant
Partner: SMYL Community Services
Collaborators: Swinburne University

Description: The aim of this project is to investigate how Australian Indigenous people can be included in the emerging opportunities of a low-carbon economy. It analyses what the future requirements are against the current training and skilling of Aboriginal youth.

Its trans-disciplinary significance is in a new approach to skilling that draws on mainstream practices and uses interviews with stakeholders to deliver outcomes that are valuable and novel. They cover a better understanding for future Indigenous skilling for a low carbon economy.

About the partner: South Metropolitan Youth Link (SMYL) Community Services is a registered training organisation. SMYL delivers a range of services to disadvantaged Western Australians, including innovative employment, education and training programs. It works closely with underprivileged and marginalised people assisting them to make a fresh start so that they can enhance their present circumstances and future prospects.


Integrated Cities:
Procuring Transport Infrastructure through Integrating Transport, Land Use and Finance (SBEnrc 1.55)

Cities in Australia and globally find it difficult to integrate transport infrastructure with land development. This Sustainable Built Environment national research centre (SBEnrc) project will seek a new model for how private finance and Public-Private Partnerships can be used to create this integration. It will use a live Perth light rail project to develop an assessment and procurement plan model based on case studies in Australia and elsewhere that have begun to demonstrate what is needed for rail and road infrastructure to be procured differently and deliver better infrastructure-land development outcomes.

SBEnrc Procuring Social and Affordable Housing Mariela Zingoni de Baro

Part A – Typologies and demographics

Researcher: Mariela Zingoni de Baro (CUSP)
Key aim: To understand how housing needs will change in the next 20 years; for example, the changing typologies of housing, such as villages and self-sustainability (food, energy, water), and the relationship to other social measures, for example, security, health and social connectedness.

Part B – Procurement approaches

Project leader: Dr Judy Kraatz (Griffith)
Key aim: To develop better mechanisms to address/deliver social value whilst at the same time addressing risk profiles for those delivering both asset and service-based outcomes, through comparing, contrasting and reviewing different forms of current procurement approaches to social housing from the viewpoint of various stakeholders and across various jurisdictions in Australia (and potentially overseas).

Scenario Planning Transport Futures: Improved Road and Transport Planning using Digital Scenario Planning Tools (SBEnrc 1.44)

This Sustainable Built Environment national research centre (SBEnrc) project considers ‘long term big city’ concepts by by using digital scenario planning models to provide value to planning processes. The project investigated and offers guidance as to how the strengths of digital scenario planning tools can be further harnessed and enhanced with a particular focus upon Australia’s four fastest growing cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane).

SBEnrc Project 1.52: Technology Enabled Transport Charlie Hargroves

The recent acceleration in the development of technologies for both vehicles and transport infrastructure is intended to provide safer, cheaper, cleaner and faster personal mobility and freight services. This poses opportunities and risks for transport agencies globally. This project will provide guidance as to how to navigate the transition to technology-enabled vehicles and transportation infrastructure. The project will focus firstly on identifying current assumptions in partner agencies around the scale and pace of technology enablement of vehicles and infrastructure across all modes. This work will then inform consideration, with partners, of how to stage the deployment of integrated technologies into transportation infrastructure to support passenger, freight, and mass transit vehicles of the future. Consideration will be given to leading work in the area of identification of specific regulatory or policy mechanisms that can underpin such a transition and will consider leading work on the potential human-vehicle implications.”

Read more.

Sustainability in China Dora Marinova and Xiumei Guo

Since 2008, CUSP has been actively researching the transformation of the Chinese economy towards decarbonisation and green growth. The Institute is visited on a regular basis by Chinese scholars and trainees, including from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), Southwest Jiaotong University, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Hefei University of Technology and recently Zhengzhou University. More than 10 HDR students conducted their research on topics related to sustainability in China.

In 2017, a new collaborative PhD program was established between Curtin University and USTC which offers mutual opportunities for academic exchange and joint work. China’s importance for Australia is unquestionable. The research conducted at CUSP is contributing to improving China’s environmental performance whilst enhancing the quality of life of the country’s population.

Sustainable Mobility in Swedish Cities: A Comparative International Assessment of Urban Transport Indicators in Sweden’s Five Most Populous Urban Regions Jeffrey Kenworthy

Five Swedish urban regions are being included in the Global Cities Database (Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö, Linköping and Helsingborg) with comparative data from 2015 on land use, public and private transport infrastructure and usage patterns, energy use, emissions, transport fatalities and other relevant transport-related data. The five Swedish regions will be compared to each other and benchmarked against 45 other global cities. The study is due for completion at the end of September 2018.

Aerial view of the Västra Hamnen (West Harbour) in Malmö, Sweden.

One of Stockholm’s impressive metro (Tunnelbana) stations in the central city area.

Understanding how the policies of Australian governments can promote health through action on the social determinants of health and health equity Dora Marinova

Funding body: Australian Research Council; administering organisation: Flinders University

Description: Evidence shows that government policy in all sectors affects health. This project analyses the Australian federal and state governments’ policies in the sectors of Justice, Environment, Planning and Industry and assesses their contribution to social determinants of health equity (SDHE), including Indigenous health. The empirical investigation applies social theory to understand how policy values and strategies in the four sectors provide for or present barriers to SDHE. Best practice examples are identified to produce evidence for policy making aimed at reducing health inequities.

Valuing Social Housing (SBEnrc 1.41)

This Sustainable Built Environment national research centre (SBEnrc) project investigates that critical challenge, for those delivering social housing infrastructure, of how to effectively demonstrate the value of investing: from a whole-of-government perspective, for the community and for the private sector. This research offers a decision support tool to evaluate the performance of social housing policy and delivery activities.

Towards a Sustainable Lower Blackwood Region: A whole of landscape perspective

This action-research project aims to establish information to provide an understanding of the current status of the district and its community, to create framework for a shared future vision with a focus on sustainable agriculture and communities – a “Whole of Landscape” framework for better natural resource management outcomes.

The project aims to help enable the following:

  • The Lower Blackwood environment is healthy, functioning properly and supporting a strong, active community with a rich, enjoyable culture and a diverse, productive and fair economy,
  • The Lower Blackwood community is effectively engaged to continually improve its practices and experiences, and
  • The Lower Blackwood is recognised as a sustainable region of national significance with unique characteristics and values.

The PhD project embedded in this larger project aims to:

  • Develop a social history of food production and consumption in the LB catchment area,
  • Document and analyse the current context and sustainability status of food production and consumption of Lower Blackwood catchment area, and
  • Identify future pathways to sustainable food production and consumption.