How will more frequent extreme weather events, such as flooding, cyclones or heat stress, caused by just 2 degrees of warming, affect our future placemaking? And what does this mean for our planning, environmental design, architecture and related practices?

The huge turnout for the highly topical Shifting Climate/Shifting Places Summit at UQ in November 2019.

In late November 2019, The University of Queensland hosted the Shifting Climate/Shifting Places – UQ Placemaking Summit 2019 to consider answers to these highly topical and urgent questions.

Contributing to the discussion with 150 participants was our Queensland regional manager, Chris Tanner, who presented a brief overview of CRCWSC and our Scenario Tool’s heat mapping functions.

Joining Chris was James Davidson from James Davidson Architects who gave his perspective on how Queensland can better adapt to climate change, particularly through flood resilient design.

The Shifting Climate/Shifting Places summit focused on developing actionable solutions to questions around the gap between science and policy of climate change, using practical, locally developed initiatives.

In the post-event report, UQ says: ‘There is a dramatic lag between the science and policy of climate change. We have 10 years to adapt to a climate of plus 2 degrees. Current planning and design need to change right now as we ramp up from mitigation and resilience towards the profound adaptation needed for the climate crisis.

‘We need to build places to deal with far higher amounts of physical adaptation to heat, water, fire/smoke, flooding and disruption of urban, economic and social systems. These are challenges beyond amenity and are required for survival’.

After the summit, some questions for further research remain:

  1. Who should lead the climate change adaptation process? Should it be community-led?
  2. How do we work out who is the most vulnerable to climate change?
  3. Are there some areas of Queensland that should be prioritised for planning policies, and how do we identify those areas?

The summit was the second of two state-based engagement initiatives delivered by UQ as part of the Placemaking Sandbox Project, a national research project funded by The Myer Foundation and delivered by the Place Agency as part of a national multisectoral consortium of placemaking, research and design organisations.

Last updated: 7th Apr 2020