Adaptable Urban Environments for human wellbeing and environmental sustainability

Thursday 30 June 2022 – 11:00 – 13:00  AEST

Moderators: Prof Tan Yigitcanlar, A/Prof Mirko Guaralda

Presenters: Yi Song Liu, Wenda Li, Turgut Acikara, Martina Hale, Stephen Fischer, Ksenia Nikolaeva, Jiaxuan E

The last few years have been challenging for the global community at an unprecedented level. We have witnessed accelerated effects of climate change, pandemics, economic crises, and regional conflicts that completely challenged our reliance on the modernist paradigm of urban development. The idea of cities as machineries of productivity, quality of live and sustainability has proven to be inappropriate for tackling the undesired externalities of human activities on the planet. This calls for urgent innovative approaches to city-making. This session (Adaptable urban environments for human wellbeing and environmental sustainability) discusses how urban systems evolve, morph, and respond to current challenges, such as climate crises, ageing population, socioeconomic inequalities. While mitigation is critical, adaptation is also seen as a necessary condition to pursue environmental sustainability and human wellbeing. Adaptation is discussed from different perspectives, in terms of policies to enable smart solutions, in terms of technologies to enhance building performances, and in terms of design to improve user wellbeing and facilitate inclusive and democratic communities. The session will embrace the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda. The interaction between tangible and intangible factors that shape our cities is considered through its impact at different scales, such as the scale of building, neighbourhood, suburb, and city. The presentations engage with a broad discussion on how our urban environments can adapt to respond to current and future challenges, needs, and opportunities to foster sustainable, liveable, and inclusive communities. The presenters will illustrate their experience in developing innovative perspectives, producing new knowledge, and engaging with experts to strengthen links between academic research and industry actors. A series of actionable solutions to achieve human-centred development will be discussed and an agenda for future research co-created during the session.


Prof Tan Yigitcanlar – Associate Professor, Queensland University of Technology

A/Prof Mirko Guaralda – Associate Professor, Queensland University of Technology
Associate Professor Mirko Guaralda (Ph.D., MHEd, DArch) has more than 20 years of experience developed in academia, industry, and local government. His background includes experience in architectural design, landscape architecture and urban design. His work focuses on people-place interaction, enquiring into the complex issues of urban density, place quality and community engagement, particularly in the Asia-pacific region. Since 2018 he has been collaborating with the UN-Habitat program, the University of 17 Agustus 1945-Surabaya (Indonesia), and more recently the Chiang Mai University. He is an experienced supervisor and in his 10 years at QUT has supervised to completion 22 HDR students.


Yi Song Liu – PhD Candidate, Queensland University of Technology

Wenda Li – PhD student, QUT

Turgut Acikara – Higher Degree Researcher, Queensland University of Technology

Martina Hale – PhD Candidate, Queensland University of Technology

Stephen Fischer – PhD student, QUT

Ksenia Nikolaeva – PhD Candidate, Queensland University of Technology

Jiaxuan E – PhD Candidate, Queensland University of Technology