The 5th Healthy Cities Conference held in June this year featured a presentation by Helen Meikle, Research Fellow and Hisham Elkadi, Head of School, Architecture and Building from Deakin University.

The paper presented at the 5th Making Cities Liveable Conference explored the role of ecology in a sustainable future, a subject that is prominently covered in the media, academic writing and political decisions as such environmental, economic, social and political pressures increasingly influence planning for the future.

The paper looks at how this translates into the process for planning future cities, highlighting gaps in knowledge and issues of implementation. It draws on interdisciplinary sources to explore three main elements of the debate:

  • What is urban ecology and why is it important to sustainable cities?
  • What gaps are there in the ecological knowledge of planners and policy makers and why are there gaps?
  • How can urban ecology be integrated into the planning of future sustainable cities?
Instead of providing a definitive answer to the problem, the paper addresses the first two areas and identifies potential directions for the third. It takes Australia as national, Victoria as regional and Geelong as local points of reference.

The full paper can be downloaded from the Healthy Cities Conference website.