The Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) engages in research focused on the complex political, economic, social, cultural and environmental processes and relations that are transforming cities and regions.

Centre for

Climate change and urban transitions

This research explores questions around the politics and everyday practices of urban renewal and regeneration in the context of climate change. It explores how urban renewal and its governance might be re-thought to include household practices of renovation and retrofitting, and investigates the capacities of various kinds of urban households to adapt to urban climate change.

Urban Carbon Governance (ARCDP110100081) 
Pauline McGuirk, Robyn Dowling (Macquarie University), Harriet Bulkeley (Durham University, UK)

Effective responses to climate change hinge on the capacity to govern carbon, especially in our growing cities. Australia's urban carbon governance framework has proved ineffective, and there is no systematic knowledge of it to inform improvement. This project documents urban carbon governance across the capital cities. It will produce foundational new knowledge of the 'who', 'how' and 'where' of urban carbon governance and of the innovations emanating from Australian cities. The project will provide empirical and theoretical knowledge to advance the capacity to govern carbon, enhance Australia's environmental sustainability and, through international engagement, build Australian research capacity.

Urban housing, climate change and adaptive capacity (NCCARF-funded)
Lesley Instone, Kathy Mee

This research explores the adaptive capacity of tenants and housing managers/landlords in the rental sector. Research to date has largely neglected the 27% of households in rental accommodation and the housing managers and landlords who manage this housing stock. The project will collect stories of adaptation from renters and housing managers/landlords and bring these groups together to develop more effective ways of facilitating adaption to climate change in the rental sector. 

Regenerating cities: the practice, politics and performance of urban transition (ARCDP130100582)
Kristian Ruming (Macquarie), Kathy Mee, Pauline McGuirk


Effective responses to climate change require more nuanced analyses of how cities are being changed by urban regeneration. Urban regeneration is conventionally understood as driven by formal programs of renewal, such as large scale redevelopment projects. Yet the city is equally regenerated by the less visible everyday maintenance practices which are overlooked by both scholarly and policy sectors. The project will shed new light on how diverse processes of urban regeneration, both visible and invisible, are altering cities. It will document the key actors, networks and practices through which regeneration occurs and, in so doing, reveal new policy possibilities for sustainable urban management.