‘Transforming urban life in an age of environmental crisis’

MONDAY 19 SEPTEMBER | 10.00-4.00PM

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Cullen Room | Holme Building | Science Rd | University of Sydney


To nourish research conversations around cities through multidisciplinary approaches

Cities are one of the key challenges of our time. An ever-increasing proportion of the world’s population is living in cities, and in Australian cities challenges like sustainability, health, citizen engagement, employment and ecological and social resilience are becoming more acute. These and the myriad facets of urban culture, economy and politics require multidisciplinary approaches.

This preliminary workshop is to bring together researchers from the University of Sydney interested in cities – from across all disciplinary fields and theoretical and philosophical perspectives. Our purpose is to nourish research conversations around cities, and to seed ideas for future collaborations.

Opening Address:
Beck Dawson, is the Chief Resilience Office for the City of Sydney, a position enabled through the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Network. The role involves developing a resilience strategy for the Sydney metropolitan area, creating a conversation around Sydney’s resilience challenges, and partnering with stakeholders – including all levels of government – to coordinate responses.  Ms Dawson has more than a decade of experience working in organisational strategy leadership roles in Australia and the UK in both government and the private sector. She has substantial experience working with major Australian industry partners collaborating on two economic reports into disaster resilience as part of the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities. She has led industry sustainability committees and championed long term planning and investment for sustainable cities through her role as General Manager for Corporate Sustainability at Investa Property Group.


Professor David Schlosbergis Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, and Co-Director of the Sydney Environment Institute. He is known internationally for his work in environmental politics, environmental movements, and political theory – in particular the intersection of the three with his work on environmental justice. He is the author, most recently, of Defining Environmental Justice (Oxford, 2007); co-author of Climate-Challenged Society(Oxford, 2013); and co-editor of both The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society (Oxford 2011), and The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory (Oxford 2016). Professor Schlosberg’s current research includes work on climate justice – in particular justice in climate adaptation strategies and policies, and the question of human obligations of justice to the nonhuman realm. He is also examining the sustainable practices of new environmental movement groups – in particular their attention to flows of power and goods in relation to food, energy, and sustainable fashion. And he continues with theoretical work at the interface of justice, democracy, and human/nonhuman relations in the Anthropocene.

Professor Robyn Dowling, Associate Dean of Research, Faculty of Architecture, Design, and Planning, is an urban studies researcher, with a focus on the social and cultural geographies of cities and contemporary urban governance. Her research has three strands. In terms of social and cultural geographies of cities, she has researched widely the ways in which identities are lived in suburban homes, neighbourhoods and lives. This includes long term research on the suburbs and homes of Sydney, and documented in international journal publications and her co-authored book Home (with Alison Blunt, published by Routledge).  

Contact: Michelle St Anne