New Chair in Resilient Cities

The University of Melbourne and City of Melbourne have announced internationally recognised scholar, Professor Lars Coenen, as the inaugural Chair in Resilient Cities.

Professor Lars Coenon headshot

The two organisations will jointly fund the position over a five year period to help combine their expertise on improving resilience, enhance Melbourne’s role as a leader in knowledge based urban resilience, leverage opportunities to attract research funding and provide a new model for collaborative research.

Professor Coenen, who will take up the position in the new year, will be based in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning and work closely with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) and the City of Melbourne’s Chief Resilience Officer.

Professor Coenen’s last position was as Professor at the Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy (CIRCLE) at Lund University in Sweden.

Professor Brendan Gleeson, Director of MSSI said the Chair will look at urban resilience and identify and seek new partnerships including enhancing student opportunities to build world class teaching and research programs.

“Professor Coenen has a global reputation in the field of innovation studies. His particular expertise is the sustainability innovations needed to futureproof cities and contribute to their safety and liveability in the face of environmental changes and the many economic and social challenges these raise,” he said.

“He has a sterling track record of leading collaborations between government, industry, communities and researchers in quest of solutions to urban resilience problems.  As his research has shown, these challenges can be turned into opportunities, including new economic prospects, when innovation becomes the focus of city policy.  We are delighted to welcome Professor Coenen to Melbourne where resilience and innovation are the new watchwords of policy and practice,” Professor Gleeson said.

Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle said Professor Coenen would boost Melbourne’s Knowledge City credentials.

“We look forward to Professor Coenen’s insights into global perspectives that can impact on resilience building and policy making,” the Lord Mayor said.

“A first for the City of Melbourne and the University of Melbourne, this new position will complement our work with the Rockefeller Foundation on the 100 Resilient Cities initiative and ensure we continue to be a world leader in the areas of livability and resilience.”