Integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation in built environments

This project aims to facilitate climate change adaptation and mitigation across Australia’s built environment: progressing climate change action, informing investment decisions and reducing harm and cost of climate change impacts.

Integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation in built environments


Cities are significant contributors to climate change, and therefore offer significant potential to achieve rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in line with international agreements such as the Paris Agreement. This agreement seeks to limit warming to 1.5oC by 2100. Significant economic, environmental, social, and cultural benefit can be gained for Australian cities if action to address climate change impacts occurs sooner rather than later.

Research Method:

The project will use policy evaluation; key stakeholder interviews; focus groups and workshops. An expert reference group will provide important perspectives across the project’s duration.

Expected outcomes:

This project intends to generate new knowledge to ensure Australian cities are planned, designed, constructed and managed to minimise greenhouse gas emissions, and to ensure they are well adapted to the changes in climate that cannot be avoided.

An expected outcome of this project is a framework for integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation across the built environment to provide guidance for practitioners and policy makers. This would provide significant benefit to Australia by advancing the further development and integration of climate change adaptation and mitigation actions across Australia’s built environment sectors (design, urban planning, construction and property). It will contribute to emissions reductions and facilitate a built environment that is well adapted to climate change risk. The project’s findings will inform investment decisions, and reduce the harm and cost predicted as a result of climate change.

Research from this project

Understanding built environments’ potential to respond to climate change

  • Hürlimann, A. C., Warren-Myers, G., Nielsen, J., Moosavi, S., Bush, J., & March, A. (2022). Towards the transformation of cities: A built environment process map to identify the role of key sectors and actors in producing the built environment across life stages. Cities, 121, 103454.
  • Hürlimann, A. C., Nielsen, J., Moosavi, S., Bush, J., Warren-Myers, G., & March, A. (2022). Climate change preparedness across sectors of the built environment–A review of literature. Environmental Science & Policy, 128, 277-289.

Previous relevant research

Climate change and the property sector

  • Warren-Myers, G., Hurlimann, A., & Bush, J. (2021). Climate change frontrunners in the Australian property sector. Climate Risk Management, 33, 100340.
  • Warren-Myers, G., Hurlimann, A., Bush, J. (2020). "Advancing capacity to adapt to climate change in the Australian property industry – addressing climate change information needs." Journal of European Real Estate Research Minerva access:
  • Warren-Myers, G., Hurlimann, A., Bush, J. (2020). "Barriers to climate change adaption in the Australian Property industry." Journal of Property Investment & Finance:

Climate change and the construction sector

  • Hurlimann, A., C., Warren-Myers, G., Browne., G.R (2019) Is the Australian construction industry prepared for climate change? Building and Environment 153, 128-137.
  • Hurlimann, A. C., Browne, G. R., Warren-Myers, G., Francis, V. (2018). Barriers to climate change adaptation in the Australian construction industry - Impetus for regulatory reform. Building and Environment, 137, 235-245.

Integrating policy for climate change across the built environment

  • Hurlimann, A., Moosavi, S., Browne, G. (2020) Urban planning policy must do more to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation actions. Land Use Policy. DOI:  10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.105188

Project details

Major sponsor

  • Australian Research Council (2020 – 2022)

Research partner

  • Université libre de Bruxelles
  • Université Catholique de Louvain

Project team


Associate Professor Anna Hurlimann