Centre for Urban Transitions

Media and communication strategies to achieve carbon reduction through renovation of Australia’s existing housing

The project aims to inform media and communication strategies that can encourage renovators to adopt energy efficiency measures which reduce carbon emissions as a mainstream part of their home renovations.

This three-year project (2014–2017) is funded by the CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRC LCL RP3021) and involves researchers from Swinburne’s Centre for Urban Transitions.

The research is:

  • Investigating the social and media practices of home renovators.
  • Providing a detailed examination of the media landscape in relation to low carbon renovations including both professional/institutional (e.g. mainstream TV renovation programs, magazines) and amateur/private media (e.g. blogs, Twitter), covering the multiplicity of available media content, formats and platforms.
  • Designing, prototyping and testing communications and media strategies and techniques to promote low carbon renovations in a living laboratory setting.

The Swinburne team comprises Professor Kath Hulse and Ms Tomi Winfree (Centre for Urban Transitions), Associate Professor Esther Milne (Department of Media and Communications) and Dr Gavin Melles (School of Design).

Research collaboration: Dr Aneta Podkalicka (Monash University).


Professor Kath Hulse
t: +61 3 9214 5321
e: khulse@swin.edu.au

A ‘virtual market’ for analysing residential housing and business policy interventions (social networks and media)

The project aims to assess the importance of non-financial factors in household uptake of low carbon and energy efficient technologies and practices.

This is a three-year project (2015–2018), funded by the CRC for Low Carbon Living (RP3028), and involves researchers from Swinburne’s Centre for Urban Transitions, Monash University and the CSIRO.

The research:

  • Is examining the role of social networks and social media such as Twitter and Facebook in shaping household practices.
  • Is contributing to a broader project, led by the CSIRO, which is modelling the uptake of low carbon/energy efficient technologies and practices by households and businesses under different market interventions.
  • Will enable development of more nuanced government policies and programs.

The Swinburne Research team comprises Professor Kath Hulse.

Research collaboration: Dr Aneta Podkalicka (Monash University), Dr Magnus Moglia (Project Leader, CSIRO) and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (industry partner).


Professor Kath Hulse 
t: +61 3 9214 5321
e: khulse@swin.edu.au

Carbon reductions from composting food waste for food production – fitting recycling models to urban forms

The current dominant practice of disposing of food scraps in landfill is environmentally, economically and socially unsustainable.  Composting inedible food scraps and using the compost to grow food can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve Australia’s depleted soils.

This three-year project (2015–2018), funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (RP2019), involves Swinburne and the University of South Australia.

The project compares different models of on-site composting with off-site composting in different types of urban precinct in terms of GHG reductions, microbial content (including public health issues) and people’s engagement with the food separation process and use of the compost.

The Swinburne research team comprises Professor Linda Blackall, Dr Belinda Christie, Dr Daniel Eldridge, Mr Stewart Detez, Ms Katherine Thornton and Mr Alex Jaimes Castillo.

Research collaboration: Professor John Boland and Mr Charles Ling, both of University of South Australia.

Success factors for a FOGO collection

More than a dozen metropolitan councils are preparing to introduce kerbside Food Organics and Green Organics (FOGO) collections and composting.

This two-month project, funded by the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group, is being conducted in early 2017 by Swinburne University.

The project involves a desktop review of relevant literature as well as interviews with councils across Australia that currently provide a successful FOGO service.  

The intention is to gain a clearer understanding of what is required for a FOGO collection to be successful, with success measured as a high proportion of uncontaminated food and garden organics being diverted from landfill.

The Swinburne research team comprises Ms Jess Hand.