Collaborative ecology in public spaces – shared learnings

Collaborative research projects in urban ecology and biodiversity were the focus of a March workshop led by GIRG’s Nick Williams with Prof Alexander Felson (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning) and visiting scholar Prof Diane Pataki (University of Utah). Open space managers and maintenance professionals joined researchers at the Melbourne workshop to share learnings and identify new approaches and ways of improving research co-design.

In cities across the world, open space managers and researchers are increasingly working together to co-design and undertake research on public land. These partnerships are an effective way of testing urban ecological theories in real world settings while also generating useful information that can be used by managers to improve open spaces for people and biodiversity. Conducting experiments in public spaces through the creation of ‘living laboratories’ is an opportunity to trial new methods, technologies and plant species. Workshop outputs being developed include a practice note on the elements needed for successful collaborative research in public open spaces as well as academic papers.

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