Glitterosophy: The Celebratory Integration of Spontaneous Process in Melbourne's Public Open Space
This study explores the spontaneous performance of urban landscapes in Melbourne. In this research, spontaneous plants, or 'weeds', have been selected as typical of this phenomenon. As a design material, spontaneous systems perform independent of cultural considerations such as aesthetics and ecology. Opposed to being ‘controlled’ through acts such as maintenance, landscape systems are driven through bio-centric processes that can stand in opposition to what is considered a ‘valuable’ landscape condition. However the notion that spontaneous plants are ‘valueless’ shifted in the 1990s when landscape architects and ecologists argued for the inclusion of spontaneity through design. The research will test this position, through design, in Melbourne’s public open space.
What have we done to small urban streams? An urban environmental history into their past, with consideration of present situations in Melbourne, Australia
The urban environmental history of small urban streams remains generally absent from historical records. Yet many urban areas globally are managing aging urban drainage infrastructures while under pressure from increasing urban densities, rainfall changes, de-industrialisation, urban redevelopment and greening imperatives. This study focuses on the main urban streams in Melbourne, outlining their environmental past through historical research, re-mapping, and consideration of current and future directions for their sustained existence and management.
The nature of nature strips: investigating urban form, manager attitudes and landscape context to inform strategies for improved biodiversity in Melbourne’s residential nature strips
Nature strips, or road verges, the green space within the road easement, are an understudied component of city green infrastructure internationally. They are poorly described and classified, and data on their form, distribution, flora and social context are almost entirely absent from the global literature. This research aims to 1) characterise the nature strips of Melbourne, 2) examine the attitudes, intentions and behaviours of stakeholders, and 3) to use these data in order to propose a framework for future nature strip provision of biodiversity.
Integrating ecology and landscape architecture in the design of urban sites to enhance ecological sustainability.
This interdisciplinary, practice-based research in ecology and landscape architecture investigates systems for ecological design and focuses on site-scale projects where both ecological and human aims co-exist. The research applies ecological knowledge to the landscape design of urban sites, to enhance biodiversity and provide ecosystem services. Using reflective, practice-based methods and working with ecologists on applied projects, Zoë investigates how to capture, curate and translate ecological knowledge into design form and will develop ecological design tools for use in practice.
Prospects for residential back-laneways: Reappropriations, morphologies, and meanings
My Ph.D. research investigates existing uses and future prospects for inner city residential back-laneways, which currently occupy vast amounts of prime urban land. Often perceived as ambiguous in purpose, and perhaps even dangerous, they are also associated with a range of formal and informal activities. My research employs an assemblage ontology, and an embedded case study design, to study relationships between morphologies and evolving meanings of this residual urban space.
Establishing the “right to public space” in “gongrenxincun”: Socio-cultural practices adopted by “the proletarian class” in Shanghai, 1949-2014
This study explores the reciprocity between socio-cultural practices of “the proletarian class” and the designed landscapes in Shanghai’s urban public realm since the establishment of People’s Republic of China. With a focus on “gongrenxincun” (工人新村 publicly provided neighbourhoods for workers, PPNW) constructed since 1950s, this study aims to generate knowledge about the bottom-up practices adopted by inhabitants in establishing their “right to public space” (as a subcategory of “right to the city”).