University of Canberra
CURF Seminar 4 March 2019 | Dorte Ekelund & Ross Thompson | Medium-sized Cities
Posted 29 January 2019 4:36pm

Our first Seminar in the CURF 2019 Seminar Series will be focus on medium-sized cities.  

CURF Seminar Series: Seminar No 1
Reimagining the future of Australia’s medium-sized cities” - Ross Thompson and Dorte Ekelund 

When: 5.30pm to 7.30pm Monday 4 March 2019
Where: Ann Harding Conference Centre, Building 24, University of Canberra

Video - CURF Seminar #1

Dorte Ekelund is an urban and regional planner with extensive experience in most facets of strategic and statutory land use and infrastructure planning across all levels of government and across various jurisdictions. She also has considerable experience in environmental policies and management, including water policies and programs; climate change mitigation and adaptation action; and ecological preservation and management. Her experience in energy includes membership of the COAG Energy Senior Officials and delivery of significant policy initiatives and investment in renewables.

Dorte has held the roles of Director-General in the ACT Environment and Planning portfolio, and was head of the Major Cities Unit in the Australian Government. She is currently Principal Advisor Smart Cities with SMEC, is a Commissioner on the Northern Territory Planning Commission, an Independent Director on the Boards of ICON Water and the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia, and is on the University of Wollongong's Smart Infrastructure Facility Advisory Council. She is also an Adjunct Professor in planning at the University of Canberra.

Dorte has qualifications in planning and in management and is a Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Talk outline

With our large capital cities groaning under population growth with inadequate planning and inappropriate infrastructure investment, two significant pieces of work consider not just the role that regional cities can play in sharing the load - but also that we should be considering the relationship between large cities and their surrounding smaller regional centres.

The “Sandstone Mega-Region” commissioned by the Committee for Sydney considers the potential for better connecting Newcastle, Gosford and Wollongong to the Sydney Metropolis of three cities – the Eastern Harbour City, the Central River City and the future Western Parkland City. Likewise contemporary work is being undertaken to consider the interconnectivity of South-East Queensland. Both provide some learnings relevant to the ACT and Region.

Dorte Ekelund PowerPoint Presentation

Ross Thompson is Professor and Chair of Water Science in the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) at the University of Canberra. His applied research addresses the ways in which freshwater systems can be influenced by human impacts including urbanisation, land clearance, pharmaceutical contamination, river management and invasive species. Ross has an active research program on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem function in urban and rural landscapes. He has published more than 100 papers, 11 book chapters and more than 200 scientific reports. His work has strong links to government and industry, and Ross sits on advisory panels for local, state and federal research programs.

Talk outline

Reimagining the role of natural ecosystems in Australia’s medium-sized cities. We have an increasing understanding of the critical role that natural systems have in providing ecosystem services in urban and peri-urban landscapes. Those services range from carbon uptake and temperature moderation, to the aesthetic, psychological and recreational benefits of healthy natural ecosystems embedded in urban landscapes. Using the language of ‘green’ (terrestrial vegetation) and ‘blue’ (water related) infrastructure, I will provide a brief background on the evolution of perspectives of nature in cities. I will then discuss what an exemplar medium sized city might look like 75 years from now.

Ross Thompson PowerPoint Presentation


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