Architecture, Building and Planning - Theses
Now showing items 1-12 of 482
Locating net zero emissions: an ethnographic comparison of local approaches to community-scale carbon neutrality
The concept of global net zero emissions has emerged as a powerful unifying narrative to connect the science and policy of climate change. This thesis examines how policy actors translate the concept of global net zero emissions across different scales and contexts into local goals for, and actions towards, community-scale carbon neutrality. The study is based on an ethnographic comparison of three diverse local jurisdictions with such goals: the City of Copenhagen in Denmark, and the City of Melbourne and Byron Shire in Australia. In establishing these goals, policy actors in each place delineate the boundaries between sources and sinks of emissions using similar methods of municipal carbon accounting, but with distinctive preferences for how and where to balance those emissions. Comparison within and between these places reveals patterns of relations and situated contingencies that shape choices and actions in relation to net zero emissions goals. The analysis draws together concepts from anthropology and science and technology studies (STS) to examine local goals for community-scale carbon neutrality. Such goals may take hold as sociotechnical imaginaries that express collective visions for desirable futures. These goals are anchored to particular localities through spatial and conceptual boundaries that are co-produced in relation to objects and scales of climate governance. Enacting carbon neutrality involves reconfiguring open-ended assemblages of heterogeneous social and material elements within and across these boundaries. Friction enables and constrains these reconfigurations, pulling assemblages in new directions to inflect pathways of sociotechnical change. These concepts are tied together through the thesis to generate insights into how policy actors translate the concept of global net zero emissions into local goals for, and actions towards, community-scale carbon neutrality. The thesis demonstrates common processes and relationships involved in collective efforts to imagine and enact community-scale carbon neutrality, and at the same time shows these to be contingent, unstable and continually unfolding. Ethnographic comparison of local climate governance allows us to learn from and imagine other ways of pursuing low carbon futures in response to climate change. Approaching carbon neutrality as relational and contextually specific reveals multiple pathways and possibilities for ecological, social and technical change. Governing human activities and sociotechnical systems towards carbon neutrality is not only about steering processes of change towards a preconceived ideal but also involves ongoing performances of place and community. These practices require reflexivity towards past histories and current contexts, and flexibility to adjust to shifting circumstances.
Assessment of life cycle embodied energy and material cost in Australian shopping centres: Implications for material selection
Shopping centres are the fastest-growing retail space in Australia driven principally by population growth and urban sprawl. A shopping centre undergoes frequent renovations and refurbishments during its life cycle for several reasons. These can include the need to increase foot traffic, improve sales and fixed term leasing periods of retail spaces. The refurbishment frequency of retail shops in shopping centres is exceptional compared to other commercial property assets, with refurbishments every 2 to 10 years. Consequently, building materials in shopping centres experience premature replacements due to economic, functional and social obsolescence. This overexploitation of resources ultimately increases the embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions in shopping centres. Yet despite this, there is a lack of knowledge on embodied environmental impact of shopping centres in Australia, which constitutes a significant obstacle in achieving improved sustainability. This thesis presents assessments of embodied energy and GHG emissions of shopping centres by developing an object-oriented model with three case study applications. Subregional shopping centres were selected as cases because they represent the largest share of shopping centre floor space (planned and existing) in Australia. The embodied environmental effects of a building are predominantly governed by the materials and assemblies employed in its structure, envelope, and finishes. To minimise embodied effects, it is essential to select building materials with better environmental performances, which might increase life cycle cost. Hence, the object-oriented model prioritises both embodied energy and material cost to identify viable material and assembly solutions. The model assessed and compared 8,820 assembly combinations across 16 different shop types in selected shopping centres. Results demonstrate that the estimated life cycle embodied energy and material cost of a typical single-storey subregional shopping centre are estimated to be around 485 TJ and AU$ 38 million as of 2019, respectively. Recurrent embodied energy is 45% of the total embodied energy, leading to an annual value of 193.15 MJ/m2, which is significantly higher in comparison to other building assets. The largest contributing shop type for life cycle embodied energy and material cost is the centre structure. Results reveal that informed use of current building materials and assemblies (i.e. engineered timber structures, fly ash cement in concrete, cork and other timber based products) significantly reduce embodied energy and emissions (up to 43%) and deliver material cost savings (up to 17%) in comparison to the business as usual scenario. The introduction of a carbon tax is also identified as an effective mechanism to encourage the selection of materials yielding a reduction of embodied energy and GHG emissions. The research outcomes demonstrate that the premature replacements of building materials and assemblies in shopping centres have a significant effect on their embodied energy demand and this varies significantly by shop types. The contributions of this study will allow building designers and other project participants to evaluate material selection decisions while enabling policy makers to develop regulations and guidelines that compel or encourage the selection of materials and assemblies with improved environmental performances. This research contributes to mitigating adverse environmental effects of the built environment.
Depicting Boom Urbanism: A critical investigation of Kalgoorlie and Boulder, Western Australia, 1893-1903
Through a series of written and drawn investigations, this thesis considers the spaces, events and processes of boom urbanism and industrialisation in the East Goldfields of Western Australia between 1893 and 1903 as recorded in photographs and maps. Employing these media, under-utilised in the writing of history of the built environment, the thesis will examine this lacuna in Australia’s urban history. Kalgoorlie and Boulder are the locations of the last great gold rush in Australia. The discovery of alluvial and then deep reef of gold in the East Coolgardie Goldfield has long been acknowledged as a significant moment in Western Australian and Australian history. The industrial and urban transformation of an arid woodland at the very edge of the British Empire had profound economic, social, political, urban and architectural consequences with the movement of people, ideas and technologies from eastern Australia and around the world to Western Australia. While Kalgoorlie and Boulder underwent an urban boom, the towns were concurrently influenced by a number of events that, in complex ways, affected the development of the towns in spatial terms. The thesis explores, describes and analyses a range of photo-textual and cartography objects drawn from the rich archive of visual material created during the period to understand the nature of this development. This is achieved in two stages. Firstly, the exploration of ten photo-textual objects establishes a broad spatial context of the goldfields and towns. Secondly, a more detailed examination of three ephemeral, quotidian and, until now, largely overlooked objects—a souvenir, a newspaper supplement and a series of maps—is undertaken to provide a nuanced understanding of these urban and industrial processes over time. The research makes a number of findings. The first concerns the utilising of novel research methodologies, and the second relates to the new knowledge created through these techniques about the processes of boom urbanism. In the course of establishing and tracing serial and sequential relationships in the visual material examined, the thesis offers lessons on how such material can be used as a source for urban history. In its foregrounding of time and process, as distinct from space and product, the research advocates that visual material demands a more central place in the field of urban history. The research yields new insights and understandings of the way the complex territory of town and mine developed, and through it, a more layered sense of the urban condition emerges. The research reinforces the idea that urbanisation (and industrialisation) needs to be read as temporal even when being explored through static depictions and fixed objects such as photographs, printed matter and maps. The research establishes a series of methods and measures for investigation and understanding of boom urbanism that can be applied to, and tested against, other places, across time and space, that have undergone similar transformations.
The cultural significance of wood fired Scotch ovens and the poetics of olfaction as a preservation strategy for bakeries in Victoria
This thesis investigates how baking has changed historically in Australia from Australian Aboriginal origins to colonial settlement, and the present day. It looks at what remains of Victorian bakeries and examines how best to protect their remaining tangible and intangible heritage. By the 1960s mass-produced factory bread dominated the palette of Australian’s: Using RedBeard Bakery in Trentham Victoria as a case study, the research explores how bakers are reinterpreting and rediscovering traditional crafts of bread making. The thesis examines a body of scholarly work focusing on olfaction, then interprets how this could be used as a preservation strategy for cultural heritage. Projects from disciplines including visual art, architecture, design and history illustrate how heritage can find new and innovative approaches to evoke the value of place.
Outpatient Oncology Settings: The role of the built environment in fostering patient sense of support
This thesis explores the role that the architectural design of oncology care facilities plays in empowering and supporting patients undergoing intravenous anti-cancer treatment within outpatient settings. The study investigated the significance and meanings patients’ attribute to their experiences in these settings and the impact of such impressions on their satisfaction and wellbeing. A mixed-methods approach, including qualitative (in-depth) interviews and the development and testing of a survey tool to measure patient perception of healthcare built spaces guided the conduct of this research. For the interview phase, twenty-four patients undergoing infusion-based treatment, including a number of former patients, were recruited from outpatient cancer care facilities across two contexts, Australia and Egypt. General discussions with six architects expert in the design of such spaces were also conducted. In the survey phase, the utilised tool was first devised following established principles for developing valid and reliable measurement scales in the field of health sciences and then used to empirically quantify and characterise patients’ perception of the built environment. Two-hundred and seven patients participated in this phase across four healthcare settings in Victoria, Australia. Basic descriptive and inferential analytical techniques were implemented to explore architectural aspects leading patients’ overall experience. Following synthesis of the collected data out of the two methods employed, the study highlights the architectural qualities that elevate patients’ sense of a supportive environment and point to a refined, and more comprehensive, conceptual understanding of the way the built environment may promote wellbeing. The study further demonstrates how such a level of support may contribute to experiencing a climate of patient-centred care. Drawing on the latent signification of the interviews’ outcome at the investigated Australian and Egyptian sites, the thesis further highlights the distinctive effect of design in balancing the unavoidable presence in the hospital, contributing to incidences of positivity, and encouraging reasons to return – potentially enhancing compliance with treatment.
Endogenous Climate Resilience: Informal Adaptation Pathways in the Pacific’s Small Island Developing Cities
More than half of the world’s population currently lives in cities, with an additional 2.5 billion people projected to join these urban inhabitants by the middle of the 21st century. With urban areas being both responsible for the vast majority of carbon emissions associated with energy use, and simultaneously facing substantive risks associated with climate impacts, it is clear that efforts to both mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts will be ‘won or lost’ in cities. The term resilience is increasingly being applied to these urban systems, particularly in reference to climate-driven shocks and stresses. The uptake of resilience thinking has been driven in part by its capacity to bridge climate mitigation and adaptation, while incorporating additional fields and methodologies such as those associated with disaster risk management. This flexibility has been particularly appealing to international development actors and institutions, who have accelerated the term’s national and sub-national uptake through the embedding of resilience language in international policy frameworks and financing mechanisms. Resilience’s conceptual fluidity, however, has led to sustained criticism from social scientists. These critiques have focused particularly on three areas: resilience thinking’s lack of sensitivity to social inequality; the risk of divergence in normative perceptions of ‘core’ urban functions; and a capacity for the term to facilitate the devolution of the state’s duty of care to its most vulnerable citizens. These concerns are especially pertinent for informal settlements, which house an estimated 880 million urban inhabitants globally and operate outside of institutionally recognised urban structures and systems. This thesis examines the interaction between informally derived endogenous climate resilience and donor-driven exogenous climate resilient development initiatives in two Pacific cities: Honiara, Solomon Islands and Port Vila, Vanuatu. These two case studies provide critical insight into the accelerating process of urbanisation in a region characterised as one of the world’s most climate vulnerable, focused through the experiences of two major climate-driven shock events. Drawing on primary data from interviews with representatives from six informal settlements (n=57) as well as institutions engaged in the deployment of climate resilient development initiatives (n=26), I identify how the endogenous forms of climate resilience that are prevalent in informal settlements interact with donor-driven, exogenous development initiatives. These primary datasets have been integrated with analysis of project documentation, policies and finance, as well as sociodemographic and spatial data. The results from this research demonstrate that ‘informal climate resilience’ is an integral part of sub-city systems, especially – but not exclusively – informal settlements. These forms of endogenous resilience are shown to be critical to the recovery, survival, and development of climate vulnerable communities. At the same time, they remain disconnected from institutional resilience-building efforts. Their prevalence, at times in conflict with city-scale values and functional assumptions, is found to be largely unrecognised within contemporary resilience theorisations and practice. By adapting resilience thinking heuristics originating from ecological applications – set within institutional analytical frameworks for engaging with informality – this research identifies strategies for engaging with informal climate resilience, with the potential for application within and beyond the Pacific.
Ballarat’s Pride: Leading Architects from 1857-1895
This thesis is inspired by the pride in 19th century Ballarat architects shown in this quote from journalist William Bramwell Withers (1823-1913). He asserts the role of Ballarat’s architects beyond its borders, at a time when wealth from gold could have kept them busy in Ballarat. This highlights a geographical spread of activity that is unexpected, given the importance of capital cities in the modern Australian cultural scene. It invites a closer consideration of these architects and regional architectural practice more generally. In his article, Withers identified three practices working in this manner: Caselli & Figgis; Tappin, Gilbert & Dennehy; and James & Creber. Yet he only discussed the first two; including a listing of their recent designs and work at hand. This thesis will focus on these two practices, and their architects and professional networks, to gain new insights into the nature of regional architectural practice in 19th century Victoria. It begins in 1857, when H.R.Caselli commenced his practice, and the gold rush had created a permanent town in Ballarat. It concludes almost forty years later, in 1895, when these architects had died, or their working relationships had ceased.
Assessing the impact of urban form on the energy consumption and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions in Metropolitan Melbourne
The resource use and environmental impacts of buildings and transport energy consumption are some of the key aspects of sustainable development. The relationship between urban form and energy and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions has been explored in several studies suggesting a strong link between housing density and public transport (PT) accessibility and urban energy consumption. However, most studies only explore building or transport energy impacts, and mostly focus on largely aggregated levels of analysis (metropolitan or municipal). Different modelling approaches have been used to explore this relationship, mainly top-down and bottom-up building energy models, however top-down approaches have limited use in assessing impacts of specific policies and actions on the built environment. Also, previous research has only focused on building or transport energy use. Integrated modelling approaches that explore the important synergies between these two main sectors of energy use are still needed. Therefore, this Thesis proposes a bottom-up integrated modelling methodology for assessing the impacts of alternative urban forms on the urban energy and carbon footprints by employing an integrated building and transport typology approach, with household typologies as the common element of analysis. This integrated modelling approach can be scaled up from small geographical scales to Metropolitan scale and can be used as a base to explore the implications of alternative urban growth scenarios and housing locations, types and densities, and transport mode options. The proposed model will allow key stakeholders to pre-assess impacts of energy consumption and GHG emission of specific urban policies on housing and transport infrastructure growth and the adoption of new, alternative energy technologies in urban areas. The research shows that the urban form has an impact on energy consumption, however, multiple dimensions of this impact should be considered in order to understand the existing trade-offs between building density and transport energy use. In order to explore the implications of future urban growth scenarios in terms of the carbon footprint of Metropolitan Melbourne, six urban growth scenarios were co-created with planning professionals and academy researchers. These scenarios were: Business-as-usual Scenario (BAU), Compact City, Sprawl City, Urban Corridor City, Activity Centre City, and High Efficiency City. The study of the six urban growth scenarios considered herein suggests that the Compact City and Activity Centre city scenarios lead to better energy performance or urban energy use and a significant reduction in GHG emission, when compared with a Business-as-Usual Scenario. Both the Compact City and Activity Centre city scenarios propose a decentralisation of housing and employment, add more medium-density activity centres, and connect employment centres by public transport. The High Efficiency City scenario showed that the increase in the adoption of Solar PV and Electric Car technology could support the carbon emissions targets more effectively, in combination with a more efficient distribution of future residential areas and employment centres. The results of this Thesis indicate that a more varied mix of building types in middle areas of Melbourne could provide a significant reduction in building energy use and GHG emissions, as it is shown in the Compact City scenario model that included a larger percentage of medium-density developments in its building type distribution in the middle areas of Metropolitan Melbourne. Future research directions to contribute further to the evaluation of urban energy efficiency are identified, which provide a better comprehension of urban energy use efficiency and support future carbon emissions reductions schemes in Australia and the world.
Boom Mannerism: The Architectural Practice of Gerard Wight and William Lucas from 1885 to 1894
To date there has been no thorough research into the architectural practice of Wight and Lucas with only a few of their buildings referred to with brevity in histories and articles dealing with late nineteenth-century Melbourne architecture. The Boom era firm of Wight and Lucas from 1885 to 1894 will therefore be investigated in order to expand their catalogue of works based upon primary research and field work. Their designs will be analysed in the context of the historiography of the Boom Style outlined in various secondary sources. The practice designed numerous branches for the Melbourne Savings Bank in the metropolitan area and collaborated with other Melbourne architects when designing a couple of large commercial premises in the City of Melbourne. These Mannerist inspired classical buildings fit the general secondary descriptions of what has been termed the Boom Style of the 1880s and early 1890s. However, Wight and Lucas’ commercial work will be assessed in terms of its style, potential overseas influences and be compared to similar contemporary Melbourne architecture to firstly reveal their design methods and secondly, to attempt to give some clarity to the overall definition of Melbourne’s Boom era architecture and the firm’ place within this period. Wight and Lucas’ other building types such as residences and churches will also be discussed to offer a balanced view of their practice as a whole. Research into the architecture of Wight and Lucas is intended to shed light upon the heritage significance of the firms’ existing body of work.
‘Leisure, pleasure … rubbish and rats?’: the planned and unplanned reclamation of bluestone quarry sites in urban Melbourne, 1835-2000
This thesis explores how regulatory mechanisms and community perceptions of urban extractive industry have changed, particularly during the twentieth century. Extractive industries operational in the twenty-first century are now located well outside of the metropolis, obviating the impacts of this deleterious industrial practice. Yet this was not always the case. Australian cities, settled following the industrial revolution, made great use of these extractive resources often accessing them in quite densely settled areas. Such land-use often took place in inner-urban locales, and the infancy of planning practice at that time saw these quarries established in an ad hoc manner. The absence of controls with respect to the location and management of quarries culminated in an uncomfortable closeness with nearby residential areas. As quarrying operations moved towards the urban periphery during the early twentieth-century, the absence of comprehensive planning failed to prevent suburban development from encroaching upon extractive industry, and in some cases this led to conflict between residents, government, planning bodies, and industry. This is especially apparent in Melbourne, the world’s largest metropolitan area atop a basaltic plain, from which the stone has been utilised for construction and roadwork since the city’s inception in 1835. Urban planning for quarries was historically absent until the formation of legislation in the 1960s in response to urban and land-use conflict; additionally, the city’s ongoing reliance on rubbish tips led tipping to be a default after-use for such sites, also raising ire. Improvements in this process encompassed the creation of legislation, planning policies, and the formation of activist groups to agitate for change. These developments were prompted by land-use conflicts, demographic change, and increased environmental awareness, all contributing to a perceived need for better planning. The tipping process was recast through a lens of social justice as undesirable undertakings no longer compatible with residential life. This thesis focuses on the use and after-use of sites of extractive industry in Melbourne, and how these sites and their final outcomes were planned—by government and planning bodies—and ‘unplanned’—left to the market or the community to resolve. It demonstrates that comprehensive urban planning for quarries and their after-uses have been historically absent: this was exacerbated by the city’s reliance upon landfill as a mode of refuse disposal, which could also be harnessed to remediate excavated sites. These findings were revealed in undertaking case study analyses of the western suburbs of Newport and Niddrie. Although communities in both areas were fundamentally successful in limiting or preventing the complete transformation of their local quarry sites into tips, the form and success of quarry remediation was still fundamentally subject to the limitations of the state government’s planning directives. This thesis found that local communities and groups were crucial to the achievement of a compensatory and judicious land-use outcome for urban quarry sites. The investigations within this thesis reveal the importance of local community as ‘watchdogs’ of planning processes and procedures in an instance of legislative and regulatory oversight spanning two centuries.
Ex-post impact evaluation method for public-private partnership projects from the perspective of multiple stakeholders
Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model of procurement is a way to deliver public infrastructure using private funding and managing risk for public purposes. Currently, PPPs have been criticised in the media, social media and in the academic literature, notably regarding their limited contribution to real public welfare. The arguments are related to (1) the amount of profit that is conferred to the private entity, (2) the long-term implications for the public sector in term of service payments, (3) the quality of the service which can be driven by cost reduction goals; among others. From a taxpayer’s point of view, the impact of PPP projects, like any kind of public investment, should be assessed and analysed, especially if a private company is making profit with it. One relevant instrument to protect the taxpayers’ interest is an ex-post impact evaluation. The problem is that a PPP ex-post impact evaluation is difficult to perform because usually: (1) projects are large and complex, (2) there are different perceptions of the delivery and the impacts, (3) the time horizon for the evaluation in some cases is more than 20 years, and (4) there are political, economic, and ideological incentives that can create biases towards their evaluation. The problem to be addressed by this research is the lack of a method to evaluate, on an ex-post basis, the impact of an infrastructure PPP project from the perspective of multiple stakeholders. The arguments that support the problem are the existing criticism of PPPs regarding their performance for achieving public welfare, the nonexistence of a PPP ex-post evaluation method, and the difficulty associated with PPP evaluation due to their multiple perspectives from the different stakeholders. The research question is: How can ex-post impact evaluation of Public-Private Partnership projects be conducted employing the perspective of its multiple stakeholders? For developing the PPP ex-post impact evaluation method, a Design Science approach is adopted. Design Science differs from the traditional behavioural science approach because it aims to change nature by solving a problem through the design of an ‘artefact’. The evaluation method is considered an artefact for the purpose of this research, grounded on the Project Success concept from the project management discipline. The outcome of the research is an ex-post impact evaluation method presented as a procedure with five steps: (1) evaluation setup, (2) stakeholder workshop preparation, (3) stakeholder workshop, (4) data analysis, and (5) evaluation conclusion. This research has a theoretical contribution by refining the concept of project as a project-system, and by proposing three high-level principles to inform a successful project. The research also has a practical contribution by delivering a documented evaluation method to assess existing PPP projects by systematically addressing their multiple perspectives towards them.
Managing the landscape values of urban heritage: a critical analyisis of the UNESCO's Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape in Valparaíso, Chile
This thesis critically analyses the approach proposed by the Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (herein the HUL Recommendation) for managing the landscape values of urban heritage. The HUL Recommendation was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2011. The HUL approach is a significant step forward in the management of heritage because integrates a diversity of values and it considers the increasingly changing dynamics of urban areas. The implications of implementing the HUL in Latin America, namely Chile, are investigated through a case study of the World Heritage Site (WHS) of the city of Valparaiso. The Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaiso was inscribed as WHS in 2003. In the justification for inscription as WHS , its statement of outstanding universal significance is largely founded on the relationships between the natural and the built environment which have shaped this unique city. In 2013, the UNESCO and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) conducted an Advisory Mission that critiqued the existing management plan for the WHS of Valparaiso. The Advisory Mission criticised that its management approach lacks important issues related to the Outstanding Universal Values (OUV) beyond the boundaries of the WHS. Therefore, the Advisory Mission considered the HUL approach as a good starting point to improve the management of the outstanding landscape values of the urban heritage of Valparaiso. The main research question is focused on how the approach proposed by the HUL Recommendation can manage the outstanding landscape values of the city of Valparaiso. To address this question, mixed methods and triangulation were used. The methods included policy analysis, key stakeholder interviews, community focus groups and mapping exercises to explore the applicability of the HUL to Valparaiso. By assessing the alignment of the current policies of heritage conservation and urban planning in Valparaiso, the views of key stakeholders and the expectations of local communities are critically analysed through the management approach proposed by the HUL Recommendation. The results reveal barriers and facilitators for the HUL approach to be implemented in Valparaiso, as well as practical implications for improving the content of the HUL Recommendation. The thesis finds that implementing the HUL approach in Valparaiso and Chile is not straightforward. Firstly, the WHS has boundaries that are not consistent with broader outstanding landscape values of Valparaiso. That reflects that the definition of WHS has not well accounted for its OUV. Secondly, there is a significant conflict between the HUL approach, the legislative framework on heritage conservation in Chile, the conceptions of heritage of national level authorities and the perspectives of local communities. Beyond the case study of Valparaiso and Chile, the thesis undertakes a critical analysis of the HUL Recommendation in the Hispanophone context. This thesis finds that the HUL approach remains rooted in European and English-Speaking ideals of heritage which makes its implementation in Latin American cities problematic. This critique of the HUL approach has implications in how the view of local communities is considered and how the boundaries of WHS are defined. Thus, this thesis contributes in reflecting on the applicability of the HUL approach Latin American cities and the potential implications at a global level.