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Pathways to
Net Zero Precincts

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Zero Carbon Emission
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Pathways to Net Zero Precincts

Pathways to Net Zero Precincts is a three-year research project to develop and implement innovative strategies for transitioning urban precincts towards net zero emissions.

A collaborative initiative between Curtin University, the RACE for 2030 Cooperative Research Centre and a consortium of leading industry and research partners from across the country, over 10 case studies will form the testing ground for these real-world interventions.

With urban centres responsible for a significant portion of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, precincts are an important, and potentially effective place to innovate to achieve net zero outcomes. Their practical scale allows technologies such as solar PV, batteries and electric vehicles to be readily incorporated into design and delivery. With good governance practices, these technologies can operate reliably and affordably at the precinct scale.

Four Key Pathways

These precinct-scale interventions will occur across four pathways, that integrate to provide practical and scalable solutions to net zero.

NZP Urban Design

Using tools and technologies to better plan for net zero urban precincts and corridors.

NZP Certification

Testing and assessing best practice monitoring and verification standards.

NZP Consumer Energy Resources and Grid Integration

Utilising smart systems to support the integration of consumer energy resources into the grid.

NZP Governance Practices

 

Identifying successful governance approaches to sharing power and resources effectively.

Globally Significant Research

Real world case studies from across Australia

Collaboration across industry, government and academia

Uniquely focused on precincts, recognising the unique opportunities and advantages of applying interventions at this scale

Continuous learning across different typologies and stages of development

World leading research and world class academics

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Case Studies

Prof. Josh Byrne
Chief Investigator

Josh is an environmental scientist and urban design professional with a national profile as a consultant, researcher and communicator in urban  sustainability. His approach is leadership through demonstration by engaging in projects that provide opportunities to test innovation, build capacity and share learnings with stakeholders and the wider community. Josh’s research expertise spans water sensitive design, low carbon housing and sustainable urban development and he has authored a number of academic publications, industry guides, factual video series and popular books in these fields. He is Dean of Sustainable Futures in the Faculty of Humanities where he supports learning and teaching, research and partnership activities. Josh’s unique skill set and interdisciplinary approach to practice, research, policy and communication has been acknowledged by numerous industry awards including the Australian Water Association WA Water Professional of the Year and the Planning Institute of Australia WA Planning Champion.

Prof. Josh Byrne
Chief Investigator
Prof. Peter Newman OA
Chief Investigator and NZP Certification Lead

Peter Newman is the Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Peter is an academic who has written 20 books and over 350 papers on sustainable cities with a global reputation and has worked to deliver his ideas in all levels of government. Peter has worked in local government as an elected councillor in Fremantle, in Western Australia’s state government as an advisor to three Premiers and in the Australian Government on the Board of Infrastructure Australia and the Prime Minister’s Cities Reference Group. He is the Co-ordinating Lead Author for the UN’s IPCC on Transport. In 2014 he was awarded an Order of Australia for his contributions to urban design and sustainable transport particularly for his work in saving and rebuilding Perth’s rail system. In 2018/19 he was the WA Scientist of the Year. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Springer journal Sustainable Earth.

Prof. Peter Newman OA
Chief Investigator and NZP Certification Lead
Prof. Peta Ashworth OAM
Professorial Lead Consumer Energy Resources and Grid Integration Lead

As Director of Curtin Institute for Energy Transition, Peta brings over thirty years of experience working in senior management and research including having established and led the Science into Society Group (SISG) within CSIRO’s Division of Earth Science and Resource Engineering. Well known for her expertise in the energy field, communication and stakeholder engagement and technology assessment. She has been researching public attitudes to climate and energy technologies for the past decade and grew up on a farm in the south west of WA where her love of nature grew from a young age.

Prof. Peta Ashworth OAM
Professorial Lead Consumer Energy Resources and Grid Integration Lead
Prof. Petra Tschakert
Professorial Lead Governance Practices

Petra Tschakert, Professor of Geography and Global Futures in the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry at Curtin University, is trained as a human-environment geographer and applied anthropologist. Her research is mainly on climate change adaptation and structural inequalities and now also on energy justice and inclusive governance. The latter entails questions on how decisions about decarbonisation are made and by whom and how to foster stakeholder dialogue, deliberation, and experimentation towards equitable energy transitions. Prof. Tschakert brings extensive expertise in participatory methodologies to examine power differentials and validate diverse voices. She leads the Energy Humanities Initiative at Curtin and is the main organiser of the Petrocultures 24/South conference to be held in Perth in November 2024. She was Coordinating Lead Author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), for the Fifth Assessment Report (2014), Working Group II, and the Special Report on 1.5°C Global Warming (2018).

Prof. Petra Tschakert
Professorial Lead Governance Practices
Prof. Reena Tiwari
Professorial Lead Urban Design

Professor Reena Tiwari is a prolific researcher, focusing on space psychology, place-making, urban ethnography, and sustainable transport. Her work is grounded in the philosophy of democratic urbanism, employing an ethnographic, collaborative, and trans-disciplinary model to foster change and adaptation in urban environments. Reena has been a Visiting Professor and Scholar at University of California, Berkeley with a focus on sustainable transit corridors. As a Visiting Professor at University of Catalunya, Barcelona, she has had a continued involvement in the International Cooperation Program under the Erasmus Mundus umbrella, supported by UNESCO and UN Habitat.

Prof. Reena Tiwari
Professorial Lead Urban Design
Associate Prof. Nasrin Aghamohammadi
Project Manager

Nasrin Aghamohammadi is an Environmental Engineering professional focusing on Sustainable Cities and Society. Her research focuses on urban overheating, innovative mitigation strategies, sustainability policy, air quality, thermal comfort, health impact assessments, walkability, alert systems, net-zero emissions, and technologies for the waste and water-energy nexus. She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Malaya (UM). Previously, she was an Associate Professor at UM, leading the multidisciplinary grand challenge program on the urban heat island phenomenon in a tropical city and mitigation approaches since 2015 in Greater Kuala Lumpur. She has lectured at various faculties and universities, including Malaysia, the USA, Japan, China, and Iran. Nasrin is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Sustainable Cities and Society, published by Elsevier, with a Q1 rating and an Impact Factor of 11.7.

Associate Prof. Nasrin Aghamohammadi
Project Manager
Aimee Smith
Communications Manager

Aimee Smith is a sustainability and climate change researcher, communicator and practitioner who has worked at the intersection of climate change, sustainability, creativity and community for 20 years – across government, business, not-for-profits and education. With a Masters in Sustainability and Climate Policy, Aimee is particularly passionate about the power of culture, storytelling, community building and radical collaboration in creating a more just, sustainable and beautiful future for all of us. At Curtin Aimee leads the delivery of the Leadership in Sustainability Unit as part of the Masters in Environment and Climate Emergency; is the inaugural Planet Positive Learning Community Coordinator; and is the Communications Manager for the RACEfor2030 Pathways to Net Zero Precincts research project.

Aimee Smith
Communications Manager

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Our Partners

Meet the team of industry, government and academic partners collaborating on this research project


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Curtin’s support includes the CISCO Curtin Centre for Future Networks

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