Climate Futures

Climate Futures

Climate Futures

Climate Futures is helping to turn research into innovative real-world applications for a sustainable future

The Centre for Climate Futures at Macquarie University is a multidisciplinary research centre, established in 2010, that is focused on the risks associated with climate change in an environment of increasing global vulnerability. With government, business and industry accepting that the climate is changing due to human activity, the key challenge has now turned to developing real-world outcomes to help communities transition to a sustainable future within a changing climate.

Climate Futures is helping to tackle that challenge by leading key collaborative projects between Macquarie and other local and international research institutions, state and local governments, and forward-facing industry partners.

The transformational projects that Climate Futures undertakes quantify and assess climate change-related risks in urban and regional settings for key areas such as biodiversity, water and energy. Current projects focus on transitioning to greener urban environments, enhancing urban biodiversity and looking at changing energy landscapes.

Our work also seeks to communicate the science directly in the language of economics, policy and regulation, so that the outcomes from each project have maximum societal impact.

Our research

Our vision for the centre is to engage with government and industry partners to develop long-term research projects and educational initiatives, building capacity across the University and beyond.

Our key areas

Green cities

Greening our cities is not just about making open spaces aesthetically pleasing. With urbanisation changing the shape and composition of our cities, major pressure on biodiversity, water resources, human health and wellbeing is increasing.

In this changing environment, it is essential that innovative partnerships are utilised to maximise the environmental and social returns of natural assets within cities, including integrating open spaces, verge plantings and green roofs and walls into mainstream urban policy and planning, construction and maintenance. 

With growing public and private investment focused on infrastructure and accelerating urban renewal, the demonstrated environmental, social and economic benefits, ranging from ecosystem services to improving the energy efficiency of buildings, can be captured and utilised.

Urban transitions

The global trend of people moving to cities and surrounding urban areas to live and work continues. This increase in urbanisation has forced Australia, and many other countries, to rethink how we can turn our cities into sustainable and liveable spaces that will accommodate a greater population by integrating nature into the urban environment.

National Green Infrastructure Network

The National Green Infrastructure Network (NGIN) is a multidisciplinary group of passionate individuals from academia, government, private practice and industry striving to enable liveable and sustainable urban landscapes. NGIN enables cross-sector partnerships through research, support and outreach.

NGIN aims to integrate a wide variety of natural assets into the built environment to create a network of green spaces and water systems that improves the health and wellbeing of everyone living in city and urban environments.

NGIN is committed to:

  • carrying out research that generates the practical knowledge and protocols required to establish green spaces and water systems (green infrastructure) tailored to the built environment
  • building strategic cross-institutional partnerships that leverage a diverse range of expertise locally, nationally and internationally, so that green infrastructure becomes an integral part of city planning and building construction
  • collaborating with policymakers in city and urban government agencies, practitioners, industry partners and local communities to undertake research and disseminate the products of our research, thus sharing the benefits of green infrastructure
  • sharing the unique learning and teaching opportunities generated by this research to maximise government, corporate and community participation.

NGIN is a network driven by co-founders Leigh Staas (Macquarie University), Lucy Sharman (Lendlease), Suzanne Dunford (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage), Sara Wilkinson (University of Technology Sydney), Paul Osmond (University of New South Wales) and David Duncan (ASPECT Studios).

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