Managing contested landscapes is a key sustainability issue.
Sustainable regional development
CSIRO is improving the sustainability of Australia’s regions and communities.
18 December 2008 | Updated 14 October 2011
The 21st Century holds enormous challenge and opportunity for Australia. We are facing rapid social, environmental and economic change.
Governments, industries and communities must make difficult decisions and tackle complex cross-sectoral policy problems to ensure prosperity and well-being for current and future generations.
CSIRO’s sustainable regional development theme aims to support these decisions and inform the design, and implementation, of these policies. Our research is about how society makes choices, resolves conflicts, influences markets and governs the use of natural resources.
Addressing policy problems
Some examples of issues we are working on include:
Planning for rapid urban expansion in environmentally sensitive peri-urban areas. For example, South East Queensland must
“SRD fills an exciting space between biophysical and socio-economic science. It combines specialised knowledge from diverse disciplines to deliver integrated solutions to policy makers.”
Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, SRD Theme Leader
accommodate an additional one million people by 2026. How can we resolve and plan for competing demands on limited energy, land and water resources?
Planning for new infrastructure that meets the needs of industry and citizens whilst mitigating negative social and environment impacts. The Australian Government has committed A$20 billion to the 'Building Australia Fund'. How do we inform decisions and trade-offs about where, how and what is built?
Partnering to find solutions to complex sustainability challenges in Australian communities. How can communities adapt to climate change, environmental degradation and water scarcity and maintain social, economic and environmental well-being?
Policies that genuinely work will blend the concerns of multiple stakeholders and balance multiple objectives. As we zoom out to regional and national scales, we put more issues into the mix and, therefore, we need to integrate more knowledge, skill-sets and fields of expertise. It is in this exciting space that Sustainable Regional Development (SRD) operates.
The Sustainable Regional Development (SRD) theme draws together skills in economics, geography, ecology, sociology, mathematics and other disciplines to find solutions to complex, cross-sectoral sustainability problems.
We are delivering policy designs, decision support systems, community engagement strategies, impact assessment techniques and modelling systems. The people who use our products and reports work in government, industry and the community.
The overriding objective of SRD is to improve the quality of life for current and future Australians via the design and extension of innovative policy solutions.
Research in SRD is currently focusing on several policy issues through six focal projects, which are:
Read more about The Sustainable Communities Initiative.