Brief description The CAUL Hub is a new consortium in the National Environmental Science Programme. This program, launched in late 2014, supports six research hubs undertaking environmental research of priority to the Department of the Environment. The mission of the CAUL Hub is to take a comprehensive view of the sustainability and liveability of urban environments. Clean air and urban landscapes are keys to Australia’s economic prosperity, environmental sustainability and population health. Yet cities are the most complex interactive systems humans have yet constructed. Any intervention—planting more trees or investing in new transport options—has a range of consequences from the chemical to the political.
In order to understand how to increase and integrate green infrastructure and reduce the environmental impact of buildings and transport, Hub has assembled an interdisciplinary team with research, knowledge-translation and data sharing skills. These capabilities will connect scientists, policy makers, industry and citizens.
Research expertise at the CAUL Hub covers air quality, urban ecology, urban planning, urban design, public health and green infrastructure, located at the consortium’s four partner organisations (the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, the University of Wollongong and the University of Western Australia). The hub is led by Professor Peter Rayner of the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, supported by deputy hub leader Dr Kirsten Parris.
The goal of the National Environmental Science Programme is on practical and applied research that will yield measurable improvements. All research produced by the CAUL Hub will be focused on specific on-ground actions to enhance the urban environment. Strategies for ensuring the practical application of CAUL Hub research include extensive consultation with stakeholders, development of background synthesis reports that incorporate end-user perspectives, and ongoing advice from Project Advisory Groups consisting of external representatives.