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Research Student Projects

Explore the current projects by our research students, categorised alphabetically (A-Z) by researcher last name.


Rifat Abedin

Thesis title: Identity Management Projects in Bangladesh – In Pursuit of Effective E-Governance

Bayan Abu-Shaban

Thesis title: Transport Sustainability Trends in Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) Arab Cities: An International Comparative Analysis with Implications for Urban Policy

Sharmin Akhter

Thesis title: Developing a ducted wind turbine integrated with solar system for sustainability power generation in Bangladesh

Mohammad Zaheer Allam

Thesis title: A Sustainable Urban Housing Model for 500 Families in Mauritius from the the Perspective of Water Harvesting, Waste Management and Energy Usage

Abeer Alshahrani

Thesis title: Integrating Education for Sustainability in English as a Foreign Language Curriculum – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Context

Abstract: The prominent position of English in Saudi Arabia and its direct and indirect relation to some of the major development goals of the country is the motive behind choosing this particular subject to be researched. Acquiring English proficiency will reduce unemployment among young Saudis who can replace the huge numbers of expatriates in the labour market in domains where English is an essential job qualification. The incorporation of an effective EFL instruction to support education for sustainability could immensely contribute to achieve some of the educational goals of the 2030 Vision and could lead to improved employability among Saudi graduates. This thesis will investigate this potential.

Supervisors: Professor Dora Marinova and Dr Shamim Samani

Patrick Anderson

Thesis title: The Australian citizen’s parliament: measuring the impact of public deliberation on civic consciousness

James Atkinson

Thesis title: Private enterprise and the development of Aboriginal business in Western Australia: identifying leading practice, innovation and outcomes

Abstract: Through Action Research, in the form of Autoethnographic case study, the thesis will identify the intersection of Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainability and Aboriginal entrepreneurship. In following an innovative business incubator program that appears unique in Western Australia (and possibly anywhere in the world), the research aims to determine factors for success along with discussion on innovative approaches and culture-based development methodology. How such a program conceives the three pillars of sustainability (social, economic and environmental) is fundamental to the central thesis.

Supervisors: Professor Dora Marinova and Dr Subras Dhakal

Md Abul Kalam Azad

Thesis title: Pilgrimage Tourism in Bangladesh: Sustainability perspective


Tanya Babaeff

Thesis title: Community participation in the co-creation of innovative residential precincts.

Abstract: This thesis looks at the role of community participation in the co-creation of innovative and sustainable residential infill development.

It begins with an investigation of the historical planning process of a new development called WGV, in the City of Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia. This initial stage includes an analysis of who, or what, created the historical events that resulted in a shift from business as usual toward innovation. It utilises a comparative-historical analysis framework including path dependence and network analysis methods.

The second part of the thesis looks at the activation of the WGV development, when residents move in. This part will include co-created methods of investigation to explore the process and potential of community-led placemaking for sustainability.

Supervisor: Professor Greg Morrison

Saadia Ahmed Barbhuiya

Thesis title: Future-proofing universities: Strategies to create low carbon educational buildings

Zahra Amrollah Biyouki

Thesis title: Adoption of Solar Photovoltaic cells in Western Australia: A Marketing Behavioural Perspective

Diana Bogueva

Thesis title: Why do Australians Eat Red Meat? Food styles – perceptions and the changeability in read meat eating habits for environmental sustainability

Maureen Boyle

Thesis title: Development from Diversity and Decentralisation: A Study of Energy Options for Cambodia

Abstract: The dominant approach to energy provision globally is based on a centralised model, which is limiting in our collective response to climate change, but also in our ability to build resilience within our communities and to assist with energy stability and security in the future. Cambodia currently sits at the centre of growing energy demand within the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Increasing energy demand in the region is furthering the push for large-scale centralised solutions to energy provision with plans for additional coal generation and hydroelectricity dams for import and export of energy to neighbouring countries. This thesis aims to understand how Cambodia is planning to provide energy services to the population and how this relates to the broader issue of energy demand within the ASEAN region. This will be done through the use of discourse analysis of energy policy and communications within Cambodia, as well as research on changing energy needs within Cambodia using two case studies.

Supervisors: Professor Greg Morrison and Dr Thor Kerr

Lynda Braddick

Thesis title: The use of extension as a tool to improve landholders adoption of natural resource management practices

Abstract: This thesis investigates WA Wheatbelt landholders’ adoption of NRM practices and the influence of the providers of support and the methods they use to encourage these activities. This included the development of a Stages of Adoption model based on a health-related Stages of Change model for investigating behaviour. Concepts for the Theory of Planned Behaviour and personal and farm characteristics were also included to measure influences on attitudes and behaviour.

A mixed method thesis was implemented using a quantitative online and telephone survey followed by qualitative interviews to expand on quantitative data, and bivariate and thematic analysis. The results showed respondents’ stage of adoption varied with different types of NRM practice, and as they progress through the stages of adoption their preferences for the method of support they receive changes. The results were also consistent with theory, finding the stronger respondents’ awareness, motivation to use and trust in the provider, the more likely they are to use their services Overall the findings build on evidence to support literature recommendations for NRM extension to understand the stage of adoption of NRM practices and the most beneficial and relevant methods to apply at each stage of their adoption and category of NRM practice, to provide a more targeted approach. They also support recommendations for NRM extension to develop a ‘train the trainer’ approach and make use of networks developed by key providers to access a greater cross section of landholders, and to include the most beneficial and relevant methods in this training so these providers can effectively undertake the processes required to improve adoption of NRM practices.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Laura Stocker and Associate Professor Brian Bishop

Jessica Breadsell

Thesis title: Integration of Design, Technology and Practices in Low Carbon Precincts

Abstract: Innovative technologies and household design are expected to lead to efficient resource consumption but often result in unanticipated or even increased water, energy, waste and transport practices. The time at which people transition into new households presents a window of opportunity to investigate and influence these practices. In comparison to the traditional behavioural socio-psychology approach to encouraging sustainable lifestyles, Practice Theory focuses on enabling people to act in a sustainable way with the resources and appliances around them. The thesis question for this thesis is therefore “What are the implications of household design on user practices and resource flows for sustainable living?” Home interviews, workbook probes and social network analysis are being used to track the lifestyle changes of participants before and after moving into low carbon housing in a Living Laboratory situation.

Supervisors: Professor Greg Morrison and Professor Peter Newman

Aldegonda Bruekers

Thesis title: Visualising scientific data: Encouraging uptake of research results through communicating complex information

Abstract: This thesis aims to inquire into methods for visualising research, and provide design strategies to scientific researchers. The central research question is: ‘what is the role of design strategies in visualising scientific data to enhance the uptake of research results by policy makers’. The relevance of the research is that it will investigate the contribution of Design to enhancing research impact; contribute to Design theory and method through analysing the stages and components of design strategies for communicating research; investigate the role of Design in an interdisciplinary research project; and, enable and assess the value added through using visualisations to the CSIRO Coastal Collaboration Cluster in the enhancement of climate science uptake by decision-makers.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Laura Stocker and Dr Tod Jones

Buddika Manori Bulathsinhalage

Thesis title: Vulnerability and adaptation of coastal livelihoods to climate change impacts in Sri Lanka: Case study in Chilaw Divisional Secretariat of Puttalam District

Abstract: Sri Lanka has been experiencing climate change impacts for many years due to its vulnerability and lack of adaptive capacity.  The effects of climate change particularly on coastal communities and their livelihoods in Sri Lanka have been largely ignored while agriculture and forestry have received more research attention and climate policy discussions. Therefore, the main purpose of this thesis is to explore the extent to which climate change impacts affect the livelihoods of coastal communities and to identify the socioeconomic and political background within which those impacts are exhibited and also to identify adaptation measures that are in place . This thesis adapts both quantitative and qualitative techniques, thus the main sources of data collection will be questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussions.

Supervisor: Professor Dora Marinova, Associate Professor Laura Stocker and Jagath Edirisinghe

Michael (Mike) Burbridge

Thesis title: Models for low-carbon transition and innovation at the interface of business, society and academia: The Great Curtin case.

Abstract: As technology alone is insufficient to delivering successful innovation it is important to understand the process of developing and delivering successful innovation and transition. The thesis will build on theories of the enablers and barriers to low-carbon transition (including path dependency theory, socio-technical transitions theory, innovators dilemma). It will examine what the theory tells us about transdisciplinary research and the triple helix of how industry, universities and society can come together to deliver low-carbon innovation. The thesis will analyse various existing business models and cases, as well as the theory, to understand the potential for universities to be the driver of low carbon evidence based innovation in a knowledge based economy based on the principles of sustainable development. The thesis will augment the existing literature by analysing existing business models used to develop partnerships between universities, business and government, examine the data to understand how existing models are funded. This will then be used to further develop, and co-create with the Greater Curtin program, a next generation business model to understand and deliver innovation to help the transition to a low-carbon knowledge-based economy.

Supervisors: Professor Greg Morrison and Professor Peter Newman


Agata Cabanek

Thesis title: Biophilic Design: Mainstreaming through the Planning System

Abstract: The thesis intends to explore and evaluate the level of mainstreaming of biophilic urban design through the planning process, focusing on green roofs, walls, facades and other building-integrated vegetated systems. In the last twenty-five years, biophilic urban design has gained substantial recognition in North America and Europe, and, in recent times, has been slowly embraced by Asia and Australia. Although a wide range of environmental and social benefits have been recognised by professional and governmental bodies, a number of socio-technical issues and barriers have arisen that have limited the expected widespread uptake. This thesis seeks to identify the perceived and actual barriers to mainstreaming along with the motivators among stakeholders who are considering applying the concepts of biophilia into urban development projects. The overall objective is to develop a strategic and statutory planning process for innovative biophilic structures to become embedded into standardised planning and design processes. The thesis will use case studies to develop some key mainstreaming principles, codes of practice, zoning, regulations, and quantified business cases. Singapore, Vitoria- Gasteiz and Barcelona will serve as case studies as well as a local case study – Greater Curtin. The significance of this thesis will also be confirmed by developing of a new approach towards biophilic landscape and urban planning and facilitation of a much-needed dialogue and a flow of knowledge between researchers, practitioners and policy makers.

Supervisor: Professor Peter Newman

Jyothi Chava

Thesis title: Incorporating Equity in Public Transport Planning in the City of Bangalore

Darrold Cordes

Thesis title:  The role of e-commerce in providing pathways to sustainability for poverty alleviation in Ghana, West Africa

Abstract: There have been substantial reductions in poverty rates in many regions of the world in recent years. Ghana reached the World Bank goal of halving its poverty levels by 2015 but some areas of Sub-Saharan Africa have not made any significant progress. The World Bank goal of elimination of poverty by 2030 is a challenging goal for the region and requires innovative approaches to stimulate economic and social development. There is a gap in the research on how community-led initiatives can achieve sustainable social, economic and environmental growth in low-income communities. The primary objective of this research proposal is to investigate the collaborative roles of e-commerce, entrepreneurial leadership and investment capital in community-led sustainable development projects for poverty alleviation. This research will be undertaken through two case studies, one in an urban environment, and the other in a rural environment. The case studies will use a mixed methods qualitative and quantitative approach to measure the performance of community-led projects in terms of the sustainability goals of economic growth, social well-being, and environmental stability. The case study results will be analysed to assess the viability of replication of the projects in other locations. A concurrent aim is to research the theoretical frameworks from which practical solutions for sustainable development and poverty reduction can be constructed. The goal is to develop conceptual computational models that can be further developed under future research to simulate a wide range of community and cultural scenarios. The significance of the proposed research arises out of the contributions by the case studies and the theoretical modelling to understandings of how successful community-led projects can be implemented in other low-income communities. The research will be undertaken in Ghana, West Africa, where an actual physical network for development projects is being established and progressively expanded across all regions of Ghana. The network is supported by an e-commerce platform that engages local projects with markets locally, nationally and internationally.

Supervisors: Professor Greg Morrison and Dr Ponnie Clark


Sebastian Davies-Slate

Thesis title: Innovative Public Transport Funding and Procurement: A Greater Curtin Light Rail Case Study

Abstract: This thesis looks at alternative funding models for railways, and in particular how land development can be used as a source of funding. This entrepreneurial rail building model has a history in Western Australia, having been used to build an extensive tramway network in Perth, and railways to Albany and Geraldton. The thesis includes building a financial model of a proposed light rail line from Canning City Centre, through Curtin University, and on to the CBD and Stirling.

Supervisor: Dr Vanessa Rauland, Professor Peter Newman and Professor Richard Harper

Simon Dawkins

Thesis title: Can Bioenergy and Carbon Sequestration (BECS) be Sustainable? The Oil Mallee Case Study

Abstract: The world needs carbon sequestration as a means of reducing carbon in the atmosphere and it needs bioenergy to help replace fossil fuels. In the agriculture sector these two methodologies work together through forestry. However, in many situations the adoption or expansion of bioenergy and carbon sequestration activities (BECS) can conflict with the use of land for growing food and cause other environmental and social issues such as the clearing of forests for food or non-food crops.

This thesis tries to resolve the question of whether bioenergy and carbon sequestration can indeed be sustainable and whether there are ways to creatively enable the development of bioenergy to become a viable economic industry without conflicting with food production or causing other social and environmental issues to emerge.

Supervisors: Dr Vanessa Rauland, Professor Peter Newman and Professor Richard Harper

Kuntal Dutta

Thesis title: Transformative Change in the Construction Industry


James Eggleston

Thesis title: An applied energy governance model for residential embedded networks combining solar and storage

Robert Enker

Thesis title: Informing Efforts by Governments to underpin Low Carbon Living – A Review of Policies, Programs and Regulations

Abstract: This thesis aims to both inform and revitalize government policy interventions in the national property market. With the aim of Reframing the public policy debate concerning the role of Building Regulation as a policy instrument for addressing national greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment. Particularly the residential building sector. Such interventions should be directed toward improving buildings’ energy performance in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Currently regulation tends to be seen as an impediment to improving building performance.

Rather than a potentially effective catalyst for vital transformation of Australia’s new and existing building stock to reduce its significant carbon footprint. The thesis will draw upon international best practice to provide a basis for benchmarking design and operational effectiveness of the local  regulatory regime. Implementation of the national 5 Star energy efficiency standard for residential buildings will be examined as a case study illuminating the tensions between regulatory standards and affordability by tracking the actual cost variations of compliance over time. Energy policy initiatives in the Northern Hemisphere [European Union; selected US states] will be a particular focus. Other thesis elements include a critical examination of the operation of “an economically rational market” in the building sector; consumer actions in the market as viewed through the prism of behavioural economics; and the role of building industry culture in supporting or impeding uptake of government energy policy initiatives.

Supervisors: Professor Gregory Morrison and Dr Vanessa Rauland

Christine Eon

Thesis title: Understanding user-technology interactions to influence energy and water metabolism in the home

Abstract: This thesis aims to both inform and revitalize government policy interventions in the national property market.  With the aim of Reframing the public policy debate concerning the role of Building Regulation as a policy instrument for addressing national greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment. Particularly the residential building sector.  Such interventions should be directed toward improving buildings’ energy performance in the most effective and efficient manner possible.  Currently regulation tends to be seen as an impediment to improving building performance.

Rather than a potentially effective catalyst for vital transformation of Australia’s new and existing building stock to reduce its significant carbon footprint.  The thesis will draw upon international best practice to provide a basis for benchmarking design and operational effectiveness of the local  regulatory regime.  Implementation of the national 5 Star energy efficiency standard for residential buildings will be examined as a case study illuminating the tensions between regulatory standards and affordability by tracking the actual cost variations of compliance over time. Energy policy initiatives in the Northern Hemisphere [European Union; selected US states] will be a particular focus. Other thesis elements include a critical examination of the operation of “an economically rational market” in the building sector; consumer actions in the market as viewed through the prism of behavioural economics; and the role of building industry culture in supporting or impeding uptake of government energy policy initiatives.

Supervisors: Professor Greg Morrison and Professor Peter Newman


Chiara Galano

Thesis title: Improving coastal adaptation and science uptake in the context of climate variability and institutional complexity: A Study in the Northern Agricultural Region (WA)

Francesca Geromino

Thesis title: An enquiry into achieving quality and affordability in terms of cost reduction during the design stage in commercial modular building

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to explore the engineering design stage in term of cost reduction to achieve affordability and quality in commercial buildings. The thesis aims to compare different design alternatives by taking into account costs of a building during its life cycle. The thesis will utilize decision-making tools and processes such as Life Cycle Cost and Building Information Modeling. The outcome of the thesis will be a decision-making framework for engineering design with practical utility for the modular building industry.

Supervisors: Professor Greg Morrison and Professor Peter Newman

Sunil Govinnage

Thesis title: Environmental Regulations of the Mining Industry: Two Case Studies from Western Australia

Abstract: The main objective of this thesis is to contribute to the understanding of the scope and nature of the mining regulatory framework (MinReF) in Western Australia and the strengths and weaknesses of the framework being implemented through a multi-agency approach.  This thesis will investigate how mining regulatory framework (MRF) in WA is being implemented to assure environmental protection conditions effectively during mining life cycle. In this thesis, the MinReFis defined as State and Federal legislation consisting of numerous policies, procedures and administrative tools managed by several agencies and evolved through over a century ago with the enactment of the first mining legislation; The Mining Acct 1904. Thus, an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the MinReF, and to identify the degree to which the regulations have been implemented for environmental protection is of paramount importance.

This thesis, using qualitative research methods examines how the regulatory policies and procedures are being planned and implemented to protect the environment during the life cycle of mining operations in WA and includes two case studies. The case studies cover an established coal mine managed through a State Agreement and a uranium mine that has received its environmental approval. The data will also be collected on the existence of mine closure plans as required under the current MinReF.

The thesis also endeavours to source global best practices on environmental regulations through an extensive literature review augmented by interviews with subject matter experts. The findings will be compared with environmental regulatory policies and procedures implemented under the MinReF to propose policy recommendations. Although this thesis is focused on WA, the findings will have national, and global applications in the implementation of environmental regulations on mining.

Supervisor: Professor Dora Marinova and Peter McCafferty


Paula Hansen

Thesis title: Uptake of a Shared Solar Storage Innovation: Dynamics and Dimensions

Abstract: The transition towards an energy system based on renewable sources in Australia, as well as globally, is driven largely by niche innovations that succeed in disrupting the incumbent system. Along with technological advances, a marked feature of this transition is an increase in the number of actors involved; and in the importance of individuals as renewable energy sources allow them to become energy generators as well as users. However, a knowledge gap exists with regards to the dynamics between different actors, the innovation, and its successful upscaling. If the energy transition is to be successful, and effectively managed, it is pivotal to establish an understanding of the effect of these dynamics on the energy system, and the implications for its future.

Addressing this need, this thesis seeks to investigate the dynamics of interaction between actors, and between actors and a sociotechnical innovation across scales and levels; and, in turn, the role of this interaction in its upscaling. A shared solar storage innovation, set in the White Gum Valley precinct in Perth, Western Australia, will serve as a case thesis. Mixed methods will be used and a computational agent-based model created. Addressing a neglect of the impact of various dimensions on the upscaling of an innovation, results will add to current theory on energy transitions, and support the effective upscaling and deployment of the innovation under thesis across Australia. Thereby, and through the theoretical contribution, this thesis has the potential to contribute to the efficiency of the Australian and international energy transition.

Supervisors: Professor Greg Morrison, Dr Jemma Green and Dr Xin Liu

Lionel Hebert

Thesis title: Accelerating introduction of Renewable Energy on Embedded Electricity Networks with customer engagement

Abstract: Embedded Electricity Networks, or “privately managed microgrids” are resilient to the introduction of on-site renewable energy because there are no incentive to do so in the traditional business model. Nevertheless, the situation is changing: Network operators are facing increasing charges from the grid they have difficulty to pass on to their energy customers, encouraging them to consider on-site generation to limit the import from the grid. In some cases, it is the change in the regulatory system forcing them to open their energy market to the competition, that pushes them to consider alternative energy generation. Most importantly, it is the concern from the energy customers to be unable to use low carbon energy and to access the long term savings offered by renewable energy sources, that force network operators to consider investing in renewable energy. If the technology is now readily available, and more and more robust business models are capable of driving the decisions, customers engagement and corresponding policies appear to be the missing link to successful introduction of renewable energy solutions on embedded electricity networks. This thesis aims at defining an innovative approach to introducing Renewable Energy on Embedded Electricity Networks with customer engagement.

Supervisors: Professor Peter Newman, Dr Charlie Hargroves and Mr Rod Hayes

Oanh Oanh (Carina) Thi Hoang

Thesis title: From both sides of the fence – Vietnamese Refugees in Hong Kong (1975-1997)


The Vietnam Exodus began after the Vietnam war ended in April 1975 when over a million Vietnamese people left the country by boat to neighbouring countries in South East Asia. More than 213,000 of them sought temporary refuge in Hong Kong, of which 143,000 were resettled in other countries and more than 67,000 were repatriated and 1,368 were resettled locally.

The ‘Vietnam Crisis’ in Hong Kong from 1975 to 2000 can be described as: the never ending arrivals of Vietnamese boat people (VBP), the difficulty of finding resettlements, the financial burden, the riots and disturbances in the camps, the legal challenges lodged by the VBP regarding the screening procedure and illegal detention, and the complex repatriation schemes, including forced, volunteer and orderly.

There were studies on different aspects of the crisis, for example, on the refugee policies in Hong Kong, riots and violence in the camps, and the treatments of VBP in Hong Kong. In this thesis I argue that all aspects of this significant part of Hong Kong history need to be documented as they provide valuable lessons in handling refugee crises, and it is critical that the human narratives of this history be recorded while many of the witnesses are still alive. My aim is to provide a comprehensive historical account of what took place in Hong Kong when more than 213,000 VBP arrived there to seek refuge.

Supervisors: Dr Nonja Peters and Professor Dora Marinova

Mitchell Howard

Thesis title: Applying social network frameworks to volunteer involving networks as a sustainable resource in developing nations

Abstract: This thesis goes beyond the person to person elements of volunteer involving relationships in the context of SD initiatives in developing nations, and widens the scope to include the entire relationship network. This widening allows the network to be viewed as a resource in its own right, thus opening the opportunity for it to be explored from a unique dynamic position, experiencing the same qualitative dimensions as have been applied to natural resources.

Social network analysis (SNA) will be engaged to assess the utility and functional capacity of relationship networks in a sustainability environment, using the established resource qualitative criteria as a basis. Literature on social network analysis (SNA) indicates that such networks can be designed and managed qualitatively for specific strategic outcomes including transformative objectives. The potential combination of inherent resource qualities and the responsiveness to strategic design, present a strong argument for case study research. This thesis seeks to identify incidents and opportunities for correlation between the qualitative elements of the labour resource and the qualitative assessment and transformative management enabled by SNA.

Supervisors: Professor Peter Newman, Dr Peter Devereux and Associate Professor Kirsten Holmes


Noureen Irfan

Thesis title: Health by Design: Sorting out the connection between the built environment and Public health: A conceptual framework for navigating pathways and planning healthy cities


Mehrzad Jahanbin

Thesis Title: Transition towards a sustainable tourism model: A case of Iran’s tourism industry

Abstract: Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, which has positive benefits for the environment, societies and culture. Sustainable tourism should make optimal use of environmental resources, respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, ensure feasible and long-term economic operations and continue to mitigate poverty.

Iran is the second largest country and one of the largest nations in the Middle East with a population in excess of eighty million, which makes it the world’s seventeenth most populous country. It has twenty-one UNESCO listed World Heritage Cultural and Natural sites,making Iran ranked eleventh in the list. Additionally, Iran has diverse attractions including historic and cultural monuments, landscapes, climate, customs and lifestyle.

However, sustainable tourism planning and its development processes in Iran is often hampered due to several reasons such as, I, Islamic nepotism in top-level management, passive and submissive local participation, lack of advertising and the international and religious crises in the past few decades.

After the 1978 Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq war, Iran’s tourism has suffered from poorly directed policies  and infrastructure development planning, management and marketing along with unreliable and insufficient tourism data. Therefore, there is a huge gap in the entire tourism industry and this thesis will contribute significantly to inform Iran’s heritage tourism with integration to sustainability and its components.

Supervisors: Professor Dora Marinova, Dr Boon Lay Ong and Dr Talia Raphaely

Satya Sai Kumar Jillella

Thesis title: Innovative financing for urban rail in Indian cities: land based strategic value capture mechanisms

Abstract: Indian cities are seeking to build urban rail systems as a multi functional solution to a range of urban issues but are starving for funds.  This thesis therefore aims to create an alternative financing system involving land based strategic value capture (VC) mechanisms financing urban rail for Indian cities by exploring ongoing Bangalore Metro project as case studies. The thesis will develop a VC financing framework for planning and VC governing models for implementation.  Further this thesis applies deliberative democracy approaches to help define value capture process and build assessment models to measure accessibility impact on land.

Supervisors: Professor Peter Newman and Dr Annie Matan


Pilar Amparo Kasat

Thesis title: The SGs, Woman’s Empowerment and the Art for Social Change

Abstract: This thesis investigates the contribution of community-based arts and cultural practices to the empowerment of women, and therefore the achievement of the specific Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that relate to gender inequality.

Supervisors: Professor Peter Newman, Associate Professor Laura Stocker and Dr Marilyn Metta

Mahmood Hasan Khan

Thesis title: Application of Sustainability Accounting in Australian Food Industries

Muhammad Mudassir Ali Khan

Thesis title: Corporate sustainability management challenges in Australia: HR-Projects synergy

Abstract: In order to practice the sustainable development, the organizations need to achieve business sustainability, eliciting that corporate success cannot merely be meaningfully defined in financial terms, without considering social equity and environmental integrity. On the other hand it has been observed that in Western Australia, the corporate sustainability has not come to full effect and the utilization of it has not been affective towards sustainable project execution, because the aspects of Human Resource have been overlooked. In recent times, the role of human resources department becomes even more critical to step up and be an embodiment of a positive change.

It can be done through the employees by making them socially responsible and productive, where the components of corporate sustainability are instilled in them in such a fashion that sustainable development becomes an article of their daily lives and is enacted by them naturally without any artifice. This thesis will critically examine, specifically from the viewpoint of Human Resource department, the factors which act as stumbling blocks in pursuit to achieve the organizational corporate sustainability goals and the execution of sustainable project management.

Supervisors: Professor Dora Marinova, Dr Amzad Hossain

Girja Krishnaswamy

Thesis title: Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Kerala, India – Ideology, Attitudes and Perception in Adoption


Frances Larder

Thesis title: The Silent Past of the “Buitenkampers” and Their Lost Identity

Abstract: This thesis will examine the transition of the siblings of the “Buitenkampers” as they moved from their birthplace Indonesia to re-settlement in Australia after spending an unwelcoming time in the Netherlands encountering racial prejudice at every stage of their journey.

Supervisors: Dr Nonja Peters and Dr Ann Shilo

Jane Loveday

Thesis title: A Star Rating System for Landscape Designs

Abstract: Globally, climate change is increasing average air temperatures and increasing the frequency of extreme heat events. The urban heat island effect is compounding this for urban residents. Smart urban landscape design has the potential to moderate the effects of extreme heat events by creating cooler microclimates. The microclimate of a residential landscape can have a significant influence on increasing resilience (social, economic and ecological) and reducing emissions. The Australian building industry thermal performance rating tool (NatHERS) is currently used for new homes and for those requiring major renovations. NatHERS and other global energy rating schemes do not adequately consider the thermal effects of landscape design on residential homes.

This thesis seeks to quantify the thermal performance of a variety of residential landscape elements found in Perth. Ultimately this quantification will lead to a thermal assessment of different landscape designs and future studies would enable a rating system similar to NatHERS to be developed and implemented.

Supervisors: Dr Josh Byrne, Dr Boon Lay Ong and Professor Peter Newman


Molla Ehsanul Majid

Thesis title: Identifying the potentials of Business Intelligence (BI) systems in promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns – the concept of a Sustainable Business Intelligence System (SBIS)

Abstract: A Business Intelligence (BI) system usually integrates organization-wide data from various sources and provides short-term and long-term directions for the company using its analytical capabilities. An enterprise BI system, usually built on top of a Data-warehouse, is gradually becoming a major technology in corporate decision-making.

Many businesses worldwide have already implemented BI systems or in the process of implementation. Significant competitive advantage can be achieved with the help of a BI system, such as, faster and more accurate reporting, improved decision making, improved customer satisfaction, increased revenue and cost minimisation etc. This thesis aims at exploring the potentials of BI systems in promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns within an organisation. The concept and framework of a Sustainable BI System (SBIS) will be proposed that, in turn, would help organisations optimise their business practices to promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production.

Supervisors: Professor Dora Marinova and Dr Amzad Hosain

Anthony McCosker

Thesis title: Enhancing pedestrian orientated design, ‘place’ and connection to place in suburbs: Evaluating the impact of health-focused urban design in Australia

Abstract: Whereas previously the domain of inner cities, walkability, pedestrian oriented design (POD) and place making theory and praxis is increasingly applied in suburban contexts. Drivers of this trend, especially in recent years, are health-focussed urban design and health-focussed behaviour change initiatives. This thesis aims to determine barriers and enablers to health-focussed planning and behaviour change initiatives at the local government level, and also examine the value of the exchange of knowledge they facilitate between the health and built environment disciplines.

Supervisors: Professor Dora Marinova and Dr Annie Matan

Steven McGill

Thesis title: What economic, technical and regulatory conditions are required to facilitate the development and implementation of successful precinct-scale energy solutions (generation, distribution, storage and consumption) globally, and in the Australian context?

Anthony McRae

Thesis title: Low-Carbon Economy: Indigenous skills and economic participation

Abstract: Large scale changes in the production of electricity, from carbon fuels to renewables, will involve a new wave of research, technological development and infrastructure investment – presenting both opportunities and threats to Indigenous communities.  Indigenous land and sea resources will be key new production sites and the use and manipulation of these technologies will be out of reach of most remote and regional Aboriginal communities.  The use of native title rights, Indigenous knowledge systems and ways of learning will be critical to ensuring participation in the new green economy.  This thesis will present an analysis on these issues.

Supervisors: Professor Dora Marinova and Dr Ray Wills

Sanskriti Ravi Menon

Thesis title: Creating an effective meeting point between ‘induced’ and ‘organic’ public participation in Pune, India through high quality public deliberation coordinated by an independent third party

Abstract: The objective of the thesis is to introduce high quality deliberation to existing public participation initiatives and opportunities in Pune, India, coordinated by an independent third party. This thesis seeks to determine whether high quality deliberation, coordinated by an independent third party, can effectively fill the gap between induced and organic forms of participation by providing structures and procedures to enable equitable, inclusive and effective participation in a democratic, developing country context.

Supervisors: Janette Hartz-Karp

Katherine Meyer

Thesis title: In a sustainable world with  improved infrastructure and efficiency and a personal onus on environmental impact, what lifestyle choices would we have the opportunity to make

Abstract: This is the first generation to understand the extent of human influence on the Earth System. A new geological epoch has been dubbed to acknowledge our role in determining the planet’s climate – the Anthropocene. For the first time we know the scientific limits that define a “safe operating space” for humankind. One that will allow us to continue to have the same stable and nurturing climate that has facilitated our development from hunter gatherers to civilisation as we know it today. These limits, the Planetary Boundaries, describe Earth System thresholds, but are limited in their accessibility. They are not intended for use at any level other than global. They describe outcomes, not limits for activity.

Imagine a framework which allowed us to understand these scientific planetary limits within the context of human activity at any scale. An individual could quantify his or her impacts against a personal “Quota”, trading impact credits or debits with other individuals anywhere on the planet. Urban planning and policies could be underpinned by the same scientific limits as community action and global negotiations. Products could go to shelf bearing “Earth Facts” – detailed disclosures of embodied nitrogen, carbon, water and other key elements – similar to the nutritional labelling that is now mandated for food in so many countries. Carbon Accounting could be replaced by Earth Accounting – measuring human impacts on all aspects of the Earth System.

That framework is the Earth Quota. We have translated scientific Earth System thresholds into accessible and actionable limits that apply to any scale of human activity. The last 50 years of human decisions have altered a climate system that had been stable for the previous 10,000 years. The next 50 years of human decisions will determine the state of the climate for the next 10,000. The Earth Quota will facilitate the management of the Earth System as we move forward into an anthropogenically driven epoch.

Supervisor: Professor Peter Newman

Roberto Minunno

Thesis title: Application of the principle of the Circular Economy framework to prefabricated buildings

Abstract: The aim of this thesis is to apply the principles of the Circular Economy (CE) framework to prefabricated buildings. Even though CE theory is well known, its structure has rarely been applied to buildings, due to two main reasons. The first is that buildings last substantially longer than common objects, thus managing the circularity of material flow over a longer time period is a challenge. Second, traditional buildings are an aggregation of different components, which, once assembled, are difficult to disassemble. The industrialisation process of prefabrication solves these issues, and because the components can be designed to be dismantled and reused.

For this thesis, the Circular Economy is adopted as the fundamental theory, through the 3Rs concept: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Additionally, Life Cycle Assessment and Thermal Performance evaluation are essential tools that will be adopted throughout the research. Using these tools, a series of case studies provided by an external industry partner (CIMC – Modular Building System) will be analysed to develop the thesis. By producing five papers, this research structures a hybrid thesis, commencing with a systematic literature review of the state-of-the-art of the circularity of prefabricated buildings. The research goals are to determine whether it is possible to produce a model leading to buildings where environmental impact is minimised and that are more affordable.

Supervisors: Professor Greg Morrison and Dr Jemma Green

Hossein Mohammadi

Thesis title: The Impacts of Land Readjustment Implementation on Socio-Economic Sustainability

Abstract: This thesis looks into land readjustment and the sustainable development goals.

Sayedul Islam Montu

Thesis title: Influence of the Mystic Traditions on the Policymakers in Bangladesh: Sustainability perspectives


This thesis evaluates the mystics’ influence on the policymakers of Bangladesh and implications for sustainability. Historically, Bangladesh (previously undivided India) has been a land of many mystic traditions. The mystics recognize themselves as the stewardship of nature, live simply, possess things only for meeting their basic needs, and dedicate themselves to reflective teaching about the values and practices for eternal longevity. The lifestyle and teachings of the mystics appear highly respectable and influential. The Bauls or Baul Fakirs[1], Muslim Pirs (spiritual guides) and Hindu Sadhus (sages) are socially recognised as mystics in Bangladesh. Most people of Bangladesh including policymakers believe in mysticism/mystical power and are followers of the mystic gurus. This thesis focuses on policymakers a group comprised of politicians, bureaucrats, technocrats, selected civil elites and business personalities.

Influence from the mystic traditions on policymakers is historical in the Indian sub-continent. The medieval emperors used to include a mystic amongst the courtiers. Political recognition for the mystic traditions is still prominent, but their influence’s affected by the emergence of globalization forces. Resultantly, Bangladesh is suffering from vulnerability in terms of affected moral values as well as climate change related phenomena. The mystics on the other hand encourage modesty in consumption, protection of the naturally environment and living within the ecologic means.

The study finds that mystics, especially the Bauls, are engaged by government, corporate bodies and non-government agencies including the media to influence people’s moral values and spirituality answers strengthening their resilience in climate change adaptation processes. The mystic traditions have now become a socio-political institution in Bangladesh. Attracting increasing support from across the country’s policymakers, with the sustainability messages embedded in the mystics’ influence.  This study explores their ability to steer Bangladesh away from destructive development.

Supervisors: Professor Dora Marinova

Shagufta Trishna Munir

Thesis title: “R”urbanization – An Architectural Quest for Sustainable Liveability


Kamrun Nahar

Thesis title: Gender, Migration and Sustainable Livelihoods in Coastal Bangladesh

Abstract: This thesis will examine the patterns and drivers of internal migration of women from coastal Bangladesh into major cities/secondary towns and the extent to which migration contributes towards the establishment of more sustainable livelihoods for migrant women. Primary data will be collected through a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques. I will obtain qualitative data by FGDs (Focus Group Discussions), KII (Key Informant Interview) and interviewing two sets of women: 1) those from coastal communities who have not migrated; and 2) those who have migrated to urban areas from the coastal communities. In addition, quantitative data (e.g. male-female ratio, landlessness, unemployment rate etc.) will be obtained from secondary sources (e.g. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics) to describe or document women’s relative disadvantage and household survey will be used to explain the factors affecting migration decisions of women. The thesis is expected to contribute to the academic and policy-related literature as it relates to migration, gender and sustainable livelihoods. Particular attention will be paid to the relationship between environmental and weather-related changes and gender-specific migration.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Laura Stocker

Vinnet Ndlovou

Thesis title: How the government should be developing the SWIS privatisation strategies by incorporating the forecasting models for the renewable energy technologies adoption


Portia Odell

Thesis title: Decarbonising Schools: The role of school decarbonisation in the community

Abstract: Climate change has caused significant impacts across the world and future generations will have to manage the implications of past and current generation’s carbon emissions. While many governments, businesses and individuals are taking action to reduce carbon emissions, there is little uptake by schools to quantify and reduce carbon emissions. Sustainability programs for schools are becoming increasingly common, however few specifically target carbon emissions, and even fewer undergo any evaluation to determine the impacts of the program or intervention on community environmental attitudes for proenvironmental behaviour (PEB). This thesis will explore the opportunities and barriers for schools to reduce carbon emissions and the potential for schools to influence community attitudes around low carbon living.

Supervisors: Dr Vanessa Rauland and Dr Karen Murcia

Kathleen O’hare

Thesis title: Modern yoga practice and human rights as reflective embodied experience

Jesudunsin Oluwadara Osinaike

Thesis title: Leaving no one behind: An evaluation of the policy and legal framework for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria towards transformational development for women


Sustainable development involves addressing the inequities and injustices caused by extreme poverty, structural inequalities, economic crises, insecurity and environmental damage.  These inequities and injustices remain obstacles to achieving sustainable development and have an overwhelming impact on the disadvantaged and vulnerable. Women especially in developing countries remain amongst the world’s most disadvantaged and are unable to fully participate or contribute to economic, political or social development. Justice is essential for addressing this inequity as well as advancing women’s rights, equality and participation in sustainable development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals are centred on minimising injustice and reducing inequalities within and between countries with a commitment that “no one is left behind”.  The SDGs provides a global policy framework that addresses these inequities and can only succeed when the goals are translated to local action in countries through a purposeful political commitment to policy making, enabling legislations and development strategies.

The purpose of this thesis is to explore and analyse the legal and policy framework in Nigeria in terms of their impact and contribution towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals on ending poverty (Goal 1), quality education (Goal 4) and gender equality (Goal 5) especially for disadvantaged women. This thesis will also investigate the links between disadvantage, poverty, education and gender equality from the perspective of women in Lagos Nigeria and its implications for the achievement of the SDGs.

Supervisors: Dr Shamim Samani and Professor Dora Marinova


Brian Peddie

Thesis title: Travel Behaviour Change, Individualised or Socialised: An examination of the effectiveness of augmented travel planning

Saskia Pickles

Thesis title: Living labs: Insights into decision-making about low carbon housing

Abstract: Living labs – where experiments carried out in real-world environments can provide proof of concept for market-ready products and ideas – have become hot spots for sustainable innovations and development. In many cases, living labs serve as spaces for people to go beyond minimum requirements and take commercial risks that others eschew. This Thesis looks at the key decision makers involved in low carbon housing living labs. Their willingness to innovate and act as early adopters is striking, considering many others in the residential built environment and construction sector continue to pursue business-as-usual approaches.

This thesis seeks to understand how those involved in low carbon housing living labs are achieving sustainable innovation and development. What drives their vision and decision-making, what supporting structures enable their work and what impact is this having more broadly? Methodology includes interviews with key decision makers as part of case studies of low carbon housing living labs, primarily in Australia. A history of the construction industry’s tendency to not value innovation highly and an analysis of data that builds on existing theoretical frameworks related to transitions and the take up of innovations will be presented in a systematic literature review.

Supervisors: Professor Greg Morrison and Dr Jemma Green


AFM Ashrafur Rahman

Thesis title: Framework to facilitate urban regeneration in the middle suburbs of car dependant cities

Shamsur Kazi Rahman

Thesis title: Determining Demographic Sustainability for Bangladesh

Brian Riley

Thesis title: Measuring the Social Impact of the Torres Straight Regional Authority

Abstract: Global economic, environmental and socio-cultural forces are driving an increased push by international development donors, governments, funding agencies, and the general public, for governments and other institutions charged with implementing social development policies and programs, to clearly demonstrate outcomes and impacts. In the face of escalating pressure to produce transparent measures demonstrating effectiveness and efficiency, small Indigenous and other similarly oriented social development organisations often struggle with both planning for, and understanding, the social, economic, environmental and cultural impacts of their work. The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) is a regionally based Indigenous Federal statutory agency founded in 1994 to enhance the wellbeing of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal residents of the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula region of Australia. Over this time, the TSRA has administered over $1 billion (AUD) in public funding to advance economic, social, cultural and environmental development outcomes. A 2013/14 performance audit of the TSRA by the Australian Auditor General found that while significant gains had been made, the TSRA’s framework for reporting on its many achievements did not facilitate an assessment of the ‘impact’ it had made on closing the gap in disadvantage or articulate its contribution to the improved wellbeing of the region’s Indigenous residents.

This thesis will focus on the conceptual and methodological issues associated with conducting impact evaluations and the measurement of outcomes for a small/medium Indigenous peak organisation charged with formulation and implementation of a broad development mandate. The ultimate aim of the thesis will be to assess whether the TSRA has made an impact on the wellbeing of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal residents of the Torres Strait, and if so how, and in what ways could development impact be effectively assessed?. Primary research objectives will include conducting a Return on Investment (RoI) analysis via the adoption of a mix-methods approach to assessing the impact of key TSRA economic, environmental, social and cultural policies and programs. This primarily ‘ex- post’ RoI impact analysis will be undertaken as a case-study approach to the TSRA incorporating quantitative and qualitative – cost-benefit analysis, systems and complexity theories. Secondly, the research seeks to establish an impact oriented planning and design framework to inform future TSRA policy development and program design founded on sustainable development principles.

Supervisors: Professor Dora Marinova and Professor Jeffrey Kenworthy

Ashley Robb

Thesis title: Analysing the Applicability of Planning Based Coastal Adaptation Measures within Existing Legislative Frameworks

Abstract: Global warming is creating rapid changes to our coastline and consequently a significant amount of private and public assets are at risk to these changes. The capacity of communities to adapt to coastal hazards through the implementation of various town planning based coastal adaptation measures is highly dependent upon the applicability of these measures within the existing legislative framework of a particular state. The WA Coastal Planning Policy (SPP 2.6) was only gazetted in 2013, leaving the applicability of these measures largely untested in the legal domain of Western Australia (WA). Furthermore, the traditional approach to coastal adaptation in WA is to fund coastal protection infrastructure in favour of longer term planning based solutions. Thus, the applicability of planning based adaptation measures within existing legislative frameworks remains uncertain and requires detailed analysis, nationally and particularly in Western Australia.

This thesis will analyse the applicability of town planning based coastal adaptation measures within existing state legislative frameworks. The thesis proposes Western Australia as a case thesis for this analysis, where a revised state Coastal Planning Policy was gazetted in 2013 and remains largely untested.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Laura Stocker, Dr Garry Middle, Michele Payne and Emeritus and Professor David Wood

Angela Rooney

Thesis title: What is the contribution of food production and consumption to the sustainability of the Lower Blackwood catchment area historically and what are the future opportunities?

Abstract: This doctoral thesis will examine the local food system in the Lower Blackwood catchment area in the southwest of Western Australia through addressing the question, “What is the contribution of food production and consumption of the Lower Blackwood catchment area historically and what are future opportunities?”

This doctoral thesis will investigate the linkages between food production and consumption, community and history of the area, examining the influence of both local and global trends. Based on landholder and other stakeholder(s) interviews, thesis of archival material, mapping workshops and focus groups, stories of local food in the context of the social history of the area will be documented and presented in ArcGIS Story Map as a spatially explicit creative production. The Story Map will detail local food production, consumption, and local cooking and cuisines as a function of the changing socio-economic landscape including climate change, food security, resilience and changing economic circumstances. It will also document respondents’ visions for a sustainable and secure food future for the region. thesis papers will complement the creative production.

The Story Mapping process shall be critically analysed and the sustainability of the local food system to be evaluated with recommendations made on the future of the area including the potential for a sustainable food hub.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Laura Stocker and Dr Amanda Davies

Paul Rowney

Thesis title: Understanding the mobility iceberg – enabling socially, economically and environmentally sustainable mobility solutions

Abstract: The ultimate goal of this thesis is to provide a framework explaining the complexities surrounding also the subconscious and irrational behaviours and decisions of the human actors in modern transport use, enabling a better world by showing how to achieve greater social, economic and environmental sustainability in transport. Most see these three elements in conflict, but to achieve true sustainability, they need to be balanced. This thesis investigates if and how this can be achieved by examining stakeholders, their perceptions, influencing factors on decision makers and personal decisions, goals and intentions from multiple perspectives. It will of course analyse the technologies as they emerged, and make an attempt at forecasting promising technologies and structures for the future. It will consider influences from, and on economy, ecology, consumerism, psychology, phenomenology, politics and of course technology. It will also consider if these are of a evolutionary, revolutionary or of a disruptive nature, and, if the impacts are the same for all parties.

A key aim of the thesis is in establishing and defining commonalities within types of consumer of mobility services, enabling clustering or stereotyping which in turn enables the definition of decision influencing factors within a more closely defined profile. Furthermore, the factors influencing strategic decisions as made by legislators and service / product providers will be investigated to clarify opportunities for improving the alignment between the decisions made by them, and consumer demands, wants and expectations.

Supervisors: Professor Peter Newman and Professor Jeffrey Kenworthy

Simone Ruane

Thesis title: Planning for Bushfire Risk at the Urban Bushland Interface: A Local Adaptive Governance Approach

Abstract: Over the past two decades, southern Australia has experienced a pronounced increase in destructive bushfire events. Based on climate change projections, the frequency and intensity of bushfires in the region is expected to rise. Although Australia has a long history of bushfire management, planning for bushfire is gaining increasing attention as both a critical policy issue and thesis priority. In particular, there is a growing imperative to address bushfire risk at the urban bushland interface (UBI) of our major cities which, despite being identified as highly fire prone, are experiencing the greatest population growth. The expansion of urban settlements into bushland areas, which also have ecological value, raises many complex and contentious planning dilemmas regarding both community safety and bushland conservation.

Planning for bushfire risk at the UBI is a multi-scale, cross-sectoral issue that requires an integrated approach. Local governments however play an important role in bushfire management through their duty to implement urban planning policies, to undertake vegetation and fire management, and to engage and educate their respective communities. This PhD thesis aims to make a contribution to the field of bushfire management and governance in local government areas by examining the connections and contentions that exists between urban planning, bushfire management and urban bushland conservation. The thesis site is located in Perth, Western Australia, which is a bushfire prone city located within the South Western Australian Global Biodiversity Hotspot. The first question of this thesis is ‘what is the current role and capacity of local government in planning for bushfire risk at the UBI in Perth, Western Australia?’ The second thesis question is ‘how do current Western Australian policy and institutional settings enable or inhibit local governments to apply the principles of adaptive governance in planning for bushfire risk’.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Laura Stocker, Associate Professor Grant Wardell-Johnson and Dr Courtney Babb


Arif Hossain Sarker

Thesis title: Understanding Policy and the Role of Planning in Enabling Urban Agriculture for Enhancing Sustainability – A Case Study of the City of Wanneroo, Western Australia

Roberta Schuchmann

Thesis title: Large Scale Urban Projects (LSUP) – Lessons learnt from the regeneration of train stations into transit orientated development from a planning, transport and urban design perspective

Georgia Scott

Thesis title: What’s it like to ride a bike? An exploration of mobile methods and implications for the sustainable city

Abstract: This thesis begins with the assumption that the embodied experience is a defining characteristic of whether or not a city liveable, and that liveability is sustainability. Given that we are constantly on the move, the quality of our experiences of mobility is an important consideration in planning and creating policy for cities.

Focusing on that most sustainable of transport modes, the bicycle, this thesis strives to answer the question What do cyclists experience and how can this inform sustainability policy in cities? Using qualitative data collected though semi-structured and go-along interviews with cyclists in Melbourne and Perth, Australia, and Utrecht, The Netherlands, this thesis provides an understanding of the embodied experience of cycling in these cities. A novel method is also explored, using representations of research participants’ narrated cycling journeys as spatial transcripts to locate and map a snapshot of their on-bike experiences.

The thesis’ findings suggest the go-along method used in combination with the power of visualisation using spatial transcripts, as a useful way of capturing, representing and developing understandings of the mobile experience of cycling, with potential for uses to improve transport policy in cities.

Supervisors: Professor Dora Marinova, Dr Anne Matan and Dr Courtney Babb

Sean Servina

Thesis title: Place, identity, culture and architecture: Recovering the eroded Seychelles identity through sustainable architecture

Abstract: This thesis will investigate the relationship between architecture, place and identity within the islands of Seychelles. It will draw upon the relationships and philosophies of place making, culture, character, built form through sustainable development. I will explore this through looking at the relationship between these schools of through. This thesis aims to thesis the architectural development within the context of Seychelles. The thesis will focus on what makes Seychelles identity as it is through built forms. Literature reviews, extensive thesis will be undertaken to shed light on the notion of place making and architecture.

Supervisors: Professor Dora Marinova and Professor Reena Tiwari

Ramisa Shafqat

Thesis title: Preserving the cultural heritage in informal settlements through place making; The case of Islamabad, Pakistan

Abstract: This thesis seeks to address the socio-cultural gaps in the current scenario of rapid urbanisation taking place in the developing world. It examines the existing conditions in the cities of the Global South in terms of organic urban disparity and characteristics of informal settlements such as their socio-cultural traits, ‘rights to the city’, socio-spatial recognition and economic potentials. Unlike previously, the current debate on sustainability (under Habitat lll) is considering urban informalities as an asset to cities and an inevitable form of urbanisation. The thesis also analyses the rural folk legacy introduced into contemporary urbanism through the communities of the informal settlements constituted mostly of rural immigrants. Using Pakistan as a case study, the thesis studies this rural – urban relationship from a sustainability perspective looking for ways to bridge the socio-cultural gap between traditional rural heritage and contemporary urbanism.

More specifically, the thesis investigates preservation and conservation of the folk cultural heritage by the method of place-making which is a socio-cultural approach to urban planning and design. This heritage is brought to the cities by rural immigrants and is mostly assimilated in the informal urbanism of the city. The attributes of the rural lifestyle and folk culture are identified and their values analysed against the background of rapid rural to urban migration with the agenda to curtail poverty, eradicate inequality and make cities more inclusive – an agenda set by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Islamabad is a planned city which however is burgeoning to a great extent organically and informally. Based on interviews and observation in the informal settlements of Islamabad and using a pull-push approach, the thesis analyses the pull factors which make cities attractive and the push factors which repel people from rural areas and how all these factors contribute to place-making in the city. The thesis argues that a sustainable liveability requires safeguarding the cultural heritage in the urban environment which is possible by creating urban spaces that are based on socio-cultural behaviour and heritage of the people who create the urban fabric.

Supervisors: Professor Dora Marinova and Dr Amzad Hossain

Rohit Sharma

Thesis title: Financing Urban Rail Projects through Land Value Capture – The Indian Case

Abstract: Cities in the 21st century are wanting urban rail as a key economic, social and environmental infrastructure but are facing challenges to raise its significant cost. This thesis investigates the windfall land value gains due to urban rail and how this value creation can be captured to finance urban rail. Bangalore and Mumbai urban rail cases have been studied to estimate a hedonic pricing model for each case based on econometric and spatial analysis. The models show significant windfall gains in land market beyond the 500-meter traditional urban rail catchment area and of great significance it appears to have increased land values over the whole city in the case of Bangalore. In both cases, application of land value capture tools have shown the potential to capture the windfall gains to defray the cost of urban rail. As Bangalore urban rail is public-owned and Mumbai urban rail is a public private participation project, this thesis shows that in both governance models land value capture can be used to finance urban rail. Further, the thesis explores a transit, finance and urban land development model with private participation and land value capture to cover the issues of transit demand and urban growth.

Supervisors: Professor Peter Newman and Dr Annie Matan

Sandeep Sharma

Thesis title: Primary education uptake in rural North India: A case study approach of using a participatory access mechanism to understand issues of access to primary education and transition to secondary schooling

Abstract: India faces high attrition and low levels of transition beyond primary school especially in rural areas. Private schools are perceived as providing better education but few villagers can afford the fees. Is it possible to establish a village based, community supported mechanism to encourage education amongst the poorest of the rural people? Since 2007, I have been actively involved with the village of Lakhnu (Hathras, North India), through a small association – India Rural Education and Development Inc. (IREAD). My thesis aims to use the IREAD activities as a means to analyse the conditions related to primary education and facilitate the uptake of education in Lakhnu.

Supervisor: Professor Dora Marinova

Darren Sharp

Thesis title: Urban Experiments for Sustainability Transitions

Abstract: Cities are in a state of transition and confront a range of ‘wicked problems’ arising from migration, climate change and rising inequality. These civilizational crises have pre-empted innovative governance responses to address these challenges through various forms of transition-oriented urban experimentation. This thesis uses action research from the Livewell Yarra Urban Living Lab, Vision Mapping process and Sharing Cities Network to develop a theoretical framework informed by empirical evidence to leverage the city as transition arena for continuous experimentation to build adaptive capacity towards long-term sustainability.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Laura Stocker and Dr Robert Salter

Angie Silva

Thesis title: The Words We Use and the Actions We Choose: The Power of Keywords, Naming and Framing in the Transition towards Sustainability. The Story of Waste

Abstract: The shortcomings of conventional development, such as environmental and social injustice, have created an opportunity for a new narrative: the transition to a sustainable future. Naming sustainability transitions purposefully and effectively has been an overlooked yet crucial variable in an age of media sound bites, hashtags, search engines and rapid communication technologies. The thesis contributes to the new narrative by investigating what role keywords, naming and framing play in a major sustainability transition: waste.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Laura Stoker and Associate Professor Michele Rosano

Dr Helen Singleton

Thesis title: A Tale in Three Cities: Tracing Identity in the Realisation of an Independent Poland

Abstract: Eugene Hardy was a Polish expatriate and leader in the Polish communities in Poland (1904-1939), Scotland (1940-1951) and Australia (1951-1991). His life goal was an independent Poland. His Polish identity was tied to this goal. Eugene Hardy was my father. My thesis aims to address how he acquired, adapted and sustained his Polish identity in the testing circumstances of pre-war Poland, war-time Scotland and Cold-War Australia. The thesis is conceived in two parts: a biography and an exegesis. The theoretical framework draws on “realist social theory,” as based on the work of sociological theorist Margaret Archer. Realist social theory offers a practical conceptual model for biography thesis to investigate the personal and social relationship between identity, and the motivations, decisions and actions of individual life stories.

The methodology will use the collection of primary and secondary sources of historical and ethnographic material for analysis and interpretation to create a biography that explores my father’s life as a citizen, an exile and an immigrant. The exegesis will critically assess how and why his Polish identity, as presented in the biography, worked to motivate his lifetime of decisions and actions in pursuit of the independence of Poland. Poland won its independence in 1989. With this came the collapse of the Soviet Union. The ramifications of twentieth-century Polish history and the issue of identity play out today in Poland and in Europe. The exegesis aims to extrapolate on the issue of my father’s Polish identity considering the socio-political reality that there are currently nearly 60 million worldwide with variable notions of Polish identity and attachment.

Supervisors: Dr Nonja Peters, Dr Shamim Samani and Professor Brian Dibble

Peter Snowsill

Thesis title: SME and impact investment driven approaches to integrated water and energy sustainability


A sustainable approach to community water and energy service delivery in developing countries directly addresses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Clean Water and Sanitation, and Affordable and Clean Energy, and contributes to numerous other SDGs.  The water-energy nexus perspective is increasingly recognised as a useful framework to integrate planning and action on the SDGs, placing the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) action agenda as central to address development challenges and acknowledging the strong interdependence of energy, water, and climate change (and land and food) (Yumkella & Yllia, 2015).

This thesis will identify new models for the development, deployment, measurement and commercialisation of sustainable, integrated community water and energy services in developing countries, seeking to leverage experience from developed countries and leapfrog linear, centralised, government driven infrastructure and service development models. The uniqueness of the developed models will be in the role played by Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), social enterprises and social impact investment, and the deliberate integration of decentralised water and energy services.

Supervisor: Professor Peter Newman

Mohammad Solaiman

Thesis title: Urban Household Consumption in Dhaka, Bangladesh: Current Pattern and Sustainability Prospects

Abstract: One of the major issues relating to sustainable development in developing countries is the growing urban consumer class and its consumption pattern. The world in this twenty-first century is experiencing a difficult time due to the threats and risks of global warming as well as rapid decrease of natural resources such as water and forest. The developing countries of the world have recently started coming out of extreme poverty through extensive industrialisation and natural resource consumption. The rise of purchasing power has created a situation where unsustainable consumption of resources and products is taking place in the rapidly growing cities of the developing world. Such unsustainable behaviour and practices of consumption are considered to be endangering the environment and societies in the developing countries as well as contributing to the global environmental problems. On this backdrop, this thesis aims to conduct an exploratory study on the urban consumption patterns of urban dwellers in the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh from a socio-cultural point of view and recommend solutions as to how the households can contribute to achieve a more sustainable urban consumption culture.

This thesis will, therefore, first attempts to develop an understanding of the present pattern of urban consumption in Dhaka, as a rapidly growing city representing the typical case for any developing country by examining food, energy, transport, and clothing related expenditure and preferences. The thesis then moves on to analyse the current practices of prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse in the household consumption culture and their scopes to achieve sustainability in the consumption pattern in Dhaka. Policy frameworks and the role of different levels of government are crucial to achieve sustainability in consumption. Hence, the thesis proposes to examine the current policy framework of Bangladesh and the role of government entities in this regard. Finally, the thesis proposes further research and policy recommendations to achieve a transition to a more sustainable urban consumption pattern for Dhaka City that could be useful within other developing country contexts. The expected findings from this thesis could be an important policy document for governments in developing countries as well as academic resource. By contributing to the existing literature on sustainability, the case thesis of Dhaka will provide a knowledge base and understanding about the consumption patterns of developing cities and ways to make them more sustainable.

Supervisors: Professor Dora Marinova

Abu Yousuf Swapan

Thesis title: Enhancing a ‘sense of community’: an investigation of the ‘semi-public-private’ interface of inner city quality residential living environments

Abstract: This thesis intends to explore the community building potential, as measured by socialization, of ‘residential built form typology’ and ‘street life’. Current policies discuss aspects of public open spaces amongst other aspects of community building. However, they do not specify exactly the community building potential of the front of residential units and how they meet the street. The methodology used by William H. Whyte and other user-focused urban designers has been applied to study public open spaces; however, the application to residential streets is limited.

The goal of this thesis is to investigate this gap. This qualitative descriptive type of research intends to apply Multiple Correlations Method. Firstly, the primary data will be collected by direct observation through a small exploratory survey. Secondly, a case study review will help to explore current practice in the world to compare knowledge similar to this research. Thirdly, a literature review will contribute to prepare structured and semi-structured interviews with the different interest groups. Finally, outcomes from the observation, interview, survey will be analysed, leading to an understanding of how ‘residential built form typology’ and ‘street life’ contribute to an increased sense of community. This new knowledge can be used to guide designers, developers, consumers and policy makers to achieve more attractive inner city living environment.

Supervisor: Professor Dora Marinova and Dr Joo Hwa Bay

Moiz Masood Syed

Thesis title: Community Shared Governance Models for jSolar with Battery Storage Systems in Residential jDevelopments


Saria Tasnim

Thesis title: Integrating Folklore into Primary Education: Sustainability Perspectives of Bangladesh

Abstract: Integration of folklore in primary education would particularly help rediscover the roots of regaining the degrading self-reliance through reviving traditional lifestyle and stewardship for achieving UN declared Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Bangladesh. Thus the thesis stresses to reinstate folklore education right from the primary level as the best means of learning and acquiring sustainability management values such as simplicity, self-reliance, respecting nature, resilience etc..

The main objective of the thesis is to highlight the aspects of folklore that are profoundly related to primary education and practices in Bangladesh.

Supervisors: Dr Nonja Peters, Dr Amzad Hossain and Dr Thor Kerr

Zafu Assefa Teferi

Thesis title: Struggling for Sustainability: Applying the Sustainable Development Goals Framework to Sustainable Improvement of Slums in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Abstract: This thesis explores the sustainability of slum housing  in order to ameliorate the existing situations of slums in developing countries. The recommendations will be based on the results of five case studies of present and remediated slums in Addis Ababa and a review of global best practices and lessons learned in slum improvement approaches. Additionally, it will evaluate the ability of the Sustainable Development Goals to provide an integrated framework in order to improve conditions in slums and assist in resolving some of the complex issues that leads to slum formation. Rather than focusing on a single solution, such as simply upgrading house structure and displacing the families that may no longer be able to afford to stay, the thesis aims to develop a holistic policy framework that works for sustainable transformation of slums into liveable, healthy urban areas.

Supervisors: Professor Peter Newman and Dr Annie Matan

Wayne Tinlin

Thesis title: Using Geodesign with transition Planning for Regional Development


Claire Vanderplank

Thesis title: Exploring the counter-cultural ‘Slow’ trend: Slow manifestations in the Southwest of WA, ways of integrating Slow principles and practices into daily life and the implications for sustainability


Robert Weymouth

Thesis title: What constitutes institutionalisation of deliberative democracy in an organisation?

Abstract: This thesis investigates the extent two high quality deliberative Participatory Budgeting (PB) initiatives (on 100% of the City budget) impact on the level of public trust and confidence in local government and vice versa, while at the same time addressing one of the wicked problems confronting municipalities. Additionally, the work will look at the degree of flow-on effects to greater civic participation as a result of engagement in this process, as well as the impact of such processes on the way local governments operate, whether their decisions are, and are perceived to be, more transparent and accountable, and whether they are accorded greater legitimacy as a result. This thesis is an action research case study around the impact of participation in deliberative participatory budgeting initiatives on participants and the administration of a Western Australian local government, Greater Geraldton. A mixture of quantitative surveys (both longitudinal and cross sectional) and qualitative interviews (cross sectional) will be employed to probe the thesis question. The learnings of this thesis will inform governments who are aiming to improve their ability to meet wicked problems and redress public trust through more collaborative community participation in public resource allocation.

Supervisors: Professor Janette Hartz-Karp

Sam Wilkinson

Thesis title: A System Dynamics Analysis: Replacing Network Services Lost Due to Retirement of Dispatchable Coal-Fired Generators

Abstract: The manner in which electricity is generated in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) has been rapidly changing and is expected to continue to change drastically over the coming decades.

It is moving from a system dominated by large scale conventional fossil fuel generators, to one that is increasingly dominated by intermittent wind and solar renewable generation that are expected to be supported by energy storage technologies.

The higher rates of renewables and the manner in which they are distributed throughout the network can have significant effects on the functioning of the SWIS. Networks security and reliability is maintained through the use of ancillary services (AS) in the form of frequency regulation, voltage control and spinning reserves.

This thesis will explore how past, current and projected AS in the SWIS aligns with transition theory. It will look at how this theory can help to explain the socio-technical enablers and blockers for changes that have occurred, and those changes that could be utilised in an electricity network that’s projected to be increasingly dominated by distributed renewables and storage systems.

To do so, the thesis will review the changes in the make-up of the generation fleet feeding into the SWIS over the past 1-2 decades and then project this based on the work of others such as the CSIRO. The types of AS used to stabilise the network over this period will be explored, along with the mechanisms used to procure/provide these services.

Using projections of the future generation mix, a review and theoretical modelling exercise will be undertaken to project the effects of various ancillary service delivery approaches.


Dorji Yangka

Thesis title: How can Bhutan remain a happily carbon Neutral economy?

Abstract: Bhutan pursues Gross National Happiness (GNH) as its development goal contrary to the popular model of economic growth indexed by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Further, during 2009 United Nations Climate Negotiations, COP-15, Bhutan declared it would remain carbon neutral for all time to come. This thesis will identify the challenges that Bhutan may face in maintaining carbon neutrality and its happiness index, as the economy grows. It will also formulate plausible integrated solutions that can assist in achieving the vision and explore how Bhutan may be able to finance its carbon neutral development.

Supervisors: Dr Vanessa Rauland, Dr Peter Deveraux and Professor Peter Newman