Visions and Pathways 2040

The project aims to develop visions and innovation and policy pathways for transforming Australian cities to achieve rapid decarbonisation and increased resilience in the face of climate change.

Project Summary

The aim of this project is to explore and articulate visions, scenarios and policy pathways for a low carbon and resilient built environment. The project will combine research and a range of creative engagement strategies to characterise possible futures, understand and analyse socio-technical innovations to realise them, identify policy, research, investment and governance implications. Scenarios will be translated into communicable visions that can be used to build enthusiasm and take-up.  Transition pathways for achieving these visions will be investigated in order to overcome barriers and manage the complex dynamics of resource/material, technical, economic, social and behavioural aspects of urban living.  Policy measures and governance structures for achieving these visions will be identified.

Key Researchers

  • Prof Chris Ryan, University of Melbourne; Director VEIL
  • Dr Paul Twomey UNSW, Research Fellow CEEM
  • Dr Michael Trudgeon, University of Melbourne; Deputy Director VEIL
  • Dr Seona Candy, University of Melbourne; VEIL
  • Dr Philippa Chandler, University of Melbourne; VEIL
  • Dr Rob Roggema Swinburne University; Institute for Social Science
  • Prof John Wiseman University of Melbourne; Sustainable Society Institute; Post Carbon Pathways
  • Dr. İdil Gaziulusoy, Principal Researcher: Scenarios, Visions  and Pathways for Low Carbon Urban Living, VEIL, University of Melbourne
  • Prof Deo Prasad, UNSW, CEO CRC LCL
  • Dr Tuan Duc Ngo, University of Melbourne, Engineering: MUTOPIA
  • Dr Stephen White CSIRO, CRC LCL, Leader, Program 3
  • As Prof Kes McCormick, Lund University Sweden (IIIEE)


The decarbonisation of the built environment involves no less than a transition from one set of technologies, infrastructures, practices, perceptions, values, policies and regulations to a (potentially) very different set. Nobody knows exactly what the future of low carbon living will look like, how quickly or smoothly such a transition might occur, and how it may be brought about. Nevertheless, there are various tools that can help us explore futures and investigate the diversity and complex systems dynamics of technological and societal changes, required to pursue the visions we want for society. This can help in our attempts to ‘co-create our future’ as well as help build more robust decisions and strategies that are less brittle to the unfolding of key uncertainties. ….Such processes are of immense strategic importance at this time as we seek to negotiate the transformative challenges of climate change – decarbonising energy supply, reducing overall energy consumption, adjusting to new climate patterns and building resilience to extreme weather events.


Four years, commencing July 2013


CRC for Low-carbon Living

$1.7m (cash) / $1.6m (in-kind)

Industry partners

Brookfield Multiplex; AECOM; Aurecon; Hassell; Sydney Water; Master Builders Australia

Government partners

Landcom NSW; Environment and Heritage NSW; City of Sydney; City of Melbourne.

Non-government sector

ICLEI (Oceania)

Research Institutions

  • University of Melbourne (VEIL/ABP) Lead
  • UNSW
  • Swinburne