The foreign policy train rolls on, and Australia has finally gained a seat on the United Nations Security Council. According to the combined authority of the Prime Minister and the Foreign...
Research Seminar Series
Rio + 20 was billed as a global gathering to advance the agenda of sustainable development. Specialist meetings preceded the event on science, health, sustainable cities and regions. The international press reported on the “slow progress” of intergovernmental discussions while dynamic interaction between city leaders and NGOs occurred across the street, as a follow up to the ICLEI World Congress in Belo Horizonte a week before.
At the ICLEI facilitated Global Town Hall, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared that sustainability would be achieved through our towns and cities. New York Mayor Bloomberg added that as cities become more sustainable, our entire world would reap the rewards. The final text of communiqués from Rio+20 and the ICLEI Global Town Hall called for a focus on sustainable cities and integrated urban planning.
What now for Australia, across our towns, our regions and our cities? Opportunities for discussion and action include green growth, renewable energy, innovation in the built environment and regional collaboration. Local government and communities should be the centre of progressing sustainability.
Professor Barbara Norman is the Foundation Chair of Urban and Regional Planning in the Faculty of Business, Government and Law, University of Canberra. She is a Life Fellow and past national president of the Planning Institute of Australia and an honorary member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (UK). Her research and teaching interests include urban and regional planning, sustainable coastal planning, climate change adaptation and urban governance.
Barbara is Chair, ACT Climate Change Council, Deputy Chair, Regional Development Australia Fund Advisory Panel, member of the national stakeholder advisory group to the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship and Deputy Chair, Regional Development Australia (ACT). Professor Norman is also Co- director of Canberra Urban and Regional Futures (CURF) and an Adjunct Professor with The Australian National University. She has extensive experience in the public sector at all levels of government including senior executive roles in the ACT Government.
Professor Norman advises the public and private sector in Australia and has strong international linkages within Asia, Europe and the United States. Barbara was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal for her contribution to the community through urban and regional planning.
Paul Bateson is Program Co-ordinator of Innovation and Best Practice with the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG), a position hosted by the ANZSOG Institute for Governance where he is an Associate. In his role for ACELG, Paul has initiated and managed pioneering research on social media and the development of the online resource known as IKEN.
Paul has worked in the fields of environmental management and sustainability, with extensive experience in the ‘not for profit’ sector, local government, State government, industry, regional organisations, Commonwealth programs, and as a freelance consultant. As a practitioner, facilitator and strategist, he has authored numerous publications for educational, professional development and communications purposes for local government and beyond.
He has held numerous honorary positions, including President and Vice President of Environs Australia: the Local Government Environment Network (1995-1999) and a member of the IUCN’s Commission on Education and Communication for ESD (2001-2005)
Paul Bateson: Sustainable Futures
Barbara Norman: What Really Happened in RIO +20
Barbara and Paul were part of an Australian delegation to Rio+20, led by ICLEI-Oceania.