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Event – Rebuilding the Sustainable City with Elizabeth Shove, Thursday July 26, 2007

Posted in Research by Ferne Edwards on July 11th, 2007

Safety Cones

Climate change is upon us. We have the technology to meet the challenge of making our homes and practices carbon neutral. We can also celebrate the steps we have already taken in Victoria to improve our housing energy performance. Victoria led the way in introducing the ‘5 star regulation for all new housing in 2004. We add approximately 1.5% to our housing stock each year. Governments are proposing targets to reduce carbon emissions arising from our existing housing. However, a range of barriers – some technical but most non-technical – need to be overcome for such targets to be achieved. The speakers will investigate these barriers, report on examples, and cast forwards on ways to meet the challenge.

This event tackles two pressing issues:
The policy and regulatory challenges in re-fitting our existing housing to reduce the contributions to climate change from our housing stock; and
The socio-technical challenges in the transition to low-carbon households.

There will be ample time for questions and discussion, with complimentary beverages and snacks.

Rebuilding the Sustainable City – Introduction
Dr Ralph Horne, Director, Centre for Design @ RMIT
Ralph will introduce the topic and briefly outline ongoing and planned research in the topic area at RMIT. He will also introduce the key questions and the two main speakers.

Socio-technical Challenges in the Transition to Low-Carbon Households
Professor Elizabeth Shove, Sociology Department, Lancaster University, UK
Elizabeth will outline the need for a socio-technical approach to improving housing environmental performance. She is a UK researcher with a long and successful record in examining the relationships between environmental practices in broader institutional and infrastructural settings. Elizabeth will use examples from the UK to demonstrate that understanding the interplay of technology, regulation and social ‘norms’ of behaviour is essential if we are to meet the climate change challenge.

Making Housing Sustainable – The Regulatory Challenge
Rob Enker, Manager Sustainability, Building Commission
Rob is Manager, Sustainability at the Building Commission in Victoria. He will summarise the successes of 5-star and future challenges for regulation, with particular emphasis on further developing the 5 Star Standard for residential buildings. He will present a vision for future sustainable building regulation in
Victoria. Rob is a qualified engineer with experience in a diverse range of industries.

5.30-7.00pm, Thursday July 26, 2007
Research Lounge, RMIT University
Situated down the ramp opposite the main library, 5th floor of Building 8, 360 Swanston Street,
City Campus, RMIT University

Refreshments will be provided

RSVP Thursday 19th July
03 9925 3487 or margaret.bates (at)

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