We are an interdisciplinary team of Australia’s leading green infrastructure experts with a shared passion for using plants to make cities more liveable.
We create and embed knowledge and technologies in smart design, construction and maintenance of green spaces, trees, parks, rain gardens, community gardens and green roofs and facades in built environments.
Discuss collaboration ideas―we work with impact-driven local and international industry, researchers from diverse disciplines, government and the community.
Talk with potential supervisors about PhD and Masters projects―we’re here to support you in this exciting step in your research career.
Our green infrastructure research is key to liveable cities for people and biodiversity
Our changing climate, booming city populations, soaring energy costs and building works are ideal conditions to maximise the vast benefits of nature in built environments. Green infrastructure can help people in cities and towns live happier, healthier lives.
People move and exercise more, enjoy improved emotional health, breath cleaner air and, through cooler microclimates, experience less heat-related stress. People also enjoy the aesthetics, living art, culture and heritage that green infrastructure brings to life in cities.
Industry, government and the community can benefit through increased productivity and property values, while costs of flooding, stormwater management and energy decrease.
Fusing the natural world with our city life also creates and preserves valuable habitats and ecological biodiversity, conserves water and improves waterway health. Crucially for climate change adaptation and resilience, green infrastructure absorbs and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
We’re in this together
We value our long and close strategic collaborations with local and international industry, researchers, government and communities. Our focus on end-users, the quality of our work and the relationships we build drive our repeat and referral collaborations. Some of our current and recent industry partners are:
We acknowledge and pay respect to the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation who are the Traditional Owners of the land upon which the Burnley campus is located.
Research Themes and Projects
- Urban Green Spaces
- Urban Trees and Urban Forestry
- Urban Ecology and Biodiversity
- Green Roofs
- Green Facades and Walls
- Water Sensitive Urban Design
A/Prof John Rayner Green roofs as an adaptation to climate change, landscape design and plant performance, social and therapeutic landscapes
A/Prof Nick Williams Grassland ecology and restoration, green roofs, green walls, urban plant ecology, weed invasions
A/Prof Stephen Livesley Microclimate cooling, green roof energy savings, carbon sequestration, urban forests and trees, biodiversity, water quality
Dr Claire Farrell Green roofs, plant selection, green roof substrates, stormwater runoff, plant drought tolerance
Dr Amy Hahs Urban ecology, remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), biodiversity, landscape ecology, comparative analysis (urban planning, landscape architecture)
Dr Sara Barron Urban forestry
Dr Chris Szota Green roofs, street trees, rain gardens, stormwater runoff, plant nutrient uptake and drought tolerance
Dr Kate Lee Environmental psychology, industrial and organisational psychology, green roofs, green walls
- PhD research
- Professor Stefan Arndt
- Jess Baumann
- Dr Judy Bush
- Dr Dave Kendal
- Janina Konarska
- Dr Adrian Marshall
- Dr Camilo Ordóñez Barona
- Dr Andrea Pianella
- Suzanne Mavoa
- Dr Alessandro Ossola
- Dr Caragh Threlfall
Outreach and communication
Dr Rachael Bathgate Green infrastructure research translation, knowledge exchange, industry engagement
Disrupt city life for the better with green infrastructure solutions.
Postgraduate research and study with us is life-changing―for you and for people in cities around the world.
We see limitless potential in plants to make cities more sustainable and support individuals, communities, industries and the environment to thrive. We’re determined to do better and hope that you’ll join us in creating powerful change.
See the latest news and learning below, and subscribe to our news updates below to stay posted on how we’re growing greener cities!
News July 4
NEW PUBLICATIONS A Green Factor Tool for Enhanced Greening in Melbourne’s Urban Areas. As cities increase in size and density, the ecosystem services supplied by urban greenery and green infrastructure are increasingly vital for sustainable, liveable urban areas. However, retaining and maximising urban greenery in densifying cities is challenging. Judy Bush assisted in the development of the City of Melbourne’s Green …4 July, 2021
While some of us are still working remotely we continue to collaborate in research partnerships, engage with industry and foster student projects. Read about some of our current research in these recent publications. See all publications Relating the climate envelopes of urban tree species to their drought and thermal tolerance Hanley PA, Arndt SK, Livesley SJ & Szota C (2021) The Science …30 June, 2021
NATURE CONNECTIONS for WELLBEING
An immersive short course to better understand and create nature experiences for health and wellbeing. POSTPONED - New date to be advised Burnley Campus, University of Melbourne About People living in cities face increasing disconnection from the natural world and in this year, perhaps more than any other, we have become more aware of the importance of nature in our lives. Nature Connections for …31 May, 2021
Global Knowledge Exchange in Urban Ecology
GIRG recently joined German colleagues and students for the inaugural Comparative Urban ecology Research Training (CURT) conference (18-19th May). Dr Amy Hahs, Prof Nick Williams and PhD candidate Julia Schiller delivered the online event with colleagues at the Technical University Berlin (Dr Tanja Straka, Chente Ortiz) and Free University Berlin (Prof Jonathan Jeschke, PhD student Simon Moesch). The conference is …25 May, 2021
Green it Up: Revitalising Australia’s CBDs in a pandemic
Claire Farrell was interviewed as part of a study commissioned by the Property Council of Australia looking at how to re-engergise central business districts (CBDs) across the country. Since COVID, the number of workers and visitors in CBDs has fallen with resulting economic, cultural and social impacts. From interviews with ‘big thinkers’, surveys of 600 CBD users and focus groups …12 April, 2021
New solutions for cooling urban landscapes
PhD candidate Pui Kwan (Paul) Cheung and A/Prof Stephen Livesley are working on a novel project looking at the use of misting to cool urban landscapes. Working with South East Water and the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, their research is looking at how misting in built up environments can help tackle the urban heat island effect, improve human thermal …23 March, 2021
Online workshop: Green Roof Maintenance
Find link to recording here In this free online1.5-hour workshop, research experts and practitioners in green roof design and maintenance outlined the key maintenance requirements for a range of Australian green roofs. Maintenance is critical for functional, flourishing green roofs - ensuring they deliver the long-term benefits for which they were designed - including rainwater capture, biodiversity enhancement and cool, green spaces …25 November, 2020 HIA
Royal Park Direct Seeding Project
In late April, almost a million seeds of native meadow species were sown across a 1,300m2 area under eucalypts in Royal Park. The Royal Park Direct Seeding Project is a collaboration between the City of Melbourne and the University of Melbourne’s Nick Williams, Steve Livesley and John Delpratt. PhD student Katherine Horsfall joins the team and will be investigating novel …10 July, 2020