Reflecting on our legacy

A final letter from our Hub Leader

Dear stakeholders,

As we conclude six years of research at the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes (CAUL) Hub, we would like to take a moment to reflect on our journey.

The CAUL Hub began in 2015 as a new research consortium with a focus on practical research to improve urban environments in Australia. Our mission was twofold: to undertake multi-disciplinary research for practical outcomes, and to highlight Indigenous perspectives in urban environments. We planned and delivered a body of research, engagement and outreach activities that has changed the way people think about cities in Australia and beyond, and opened new possibilities for making them better places for their human inhabitants and for nature.

In addition to our primary stakeholder, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), the stakeholders of our Hub and end-users of our research have comprised a much broader group including all levels of government, urban practitioners, community groups and the general urban-dwelling public of Australia. We have created partnerships with many different agencies and organisations to pursue applied research that has already contributed to making our air cleaner and our cities greener, more biodiverse and more liveable.

The CAUL Hub’s work has provided an evidence base for the state of cities in Australia today, spanning outdoor air quality, indoor air quality, urban vegetation cover and its relationship with urban heat, the liveability of our neighbourhoods in capital and regional cities, urban greenspaces and their many benefits, urban biodiversity, and the complex relationships between people and their environment. We have also made space for Indigenous voices in cities, emphasising that all cities in Australia are Indigenous places where First Peoples’ deep connections to land, water and sky continue. Below we explore the impact of just some of our outstanding research projects.

It has been an honour to work with former Hub Leader Peter Rayner, Deputy Hub Leader Joe Hurley and the CAUL Executive team to lead such a committed group of researchers over the past six years. It has also been an honour to work with the broader family of CAUL’s many stakeholders, collaborators and supporters, including DAWE, our Indigenous Advisory Group and Hub Steering Committee. I thank all of you for your enthusiasm, dedication and outstanding contributions. While the CAUL Hub’s research has already changed cities in Australia for the better, its true impact will be measured in the years and the decades to come.

– Professor Kirsten Parris

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