Practical research

The mission of the CAUL Hub is to undertake research to support environmental quality in our urban areas. This will have a practical focus. All research projects will be focused on the needs of end-users and tied to specific outcomes. Research undertaken by the CAUL Hub will provide real improvements to the environmental quality of Australian cities. Examples of past and future practical research projects are provided below.

A bee hotel. The vials are used to temporarily capture bees for identification. Photo: Jessica Baumann

Case Study: Bee Hotels

Insect pollinators such as bees and butterflies are crucial to healthy ecosystems. However we don’t know much about how well they can survive in urban landscapes. CAUL Hub researchers have been involved in a research project to study different strategies for promoting insect pollinators, like native bees. Part of this project involved building 'bee hotels’ for use in private gardens and public parks. Bee hotels provide places for native bees to store food and lay eggs. Different species of bee can use the same bee hotel. This research project is providing information about how useful bee hotels will be, but it is also has the potential to make a real improvement to the local ecosystem. A key aspect of this research was the use of citizen scientist volunteers to build and monitor the bee hotels. This work will be extended by the CAUL Hub Shared Urban Landscape research project. The Understanding Urban Pollinator Biodiversity research project was supported by the University of Melbourne, Museum Victoria, the City of Boroondara and Parks Victoria.

Clean Air Plan for Western Sydney

A major practical research output of the CAUL Hub will be the development of a Clean Air Plan for Western Sydney. This plan will take an integrated look at the multiple cause of poor air quality in terms of the practical decisions that governments can make. Importantly, CAUL Hub research will extend our understanding of air quality down to the level of individual exposure. The Clean Air Plan will require working with many different research stakeholders because the sources of air pollution are so diverse and the policy implications so complex. By addressing the needs of multiple end-users, CAUL Hub research will make a difference. The major work required for the Clean Air Plan will be undertaken in the Air Quality research project.

Green Cities Blueprints

Green Cities Blueprints will set achievable and evidence-based urban greening targets for Australian cities out to 2040. CAUL Hub research will develop tools that will be meaningful for and useable by governments and other decision-makers. Multiple CAUL Hub research projects will be involved in developing the Green Cities Blueprints, including the Urban Greening, Improved Urban Systems for Liveability and Shared Urban Habitat research projects.