Senior Lecturer in Design, Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) at Western Sydney University

Abby Mellick Lopes is a Senior Lecturer in Design and a researcher at the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) at Western Sydney University. Abby’s research focuses on the relationship between design and social arrangements to support the transition to more sustainable urban cultures. Recent projects have tackled issues such as civic trust in drinking water, food waste and the impact of urban heat on the liveability of cities. Abby collaborates with academic, industry and government partners and publishes on sustainable design and transdisciplinarity. 

Presentation: Cooling the Commons is a research program at the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) at Western Sydney University that is investigating what we need to live well in an increasingly hot city. In the pilot study in 2016, we explored the inequity of access to ‘cool commons’ in some of the most heat prone areas of Western Sydney. Building on that work, we are now producing a pattern book sponsored by Landcom (the NSW government developer), which aims to promote design practices that are more mindful of the social and environmental impacts of urban heat. The pattern book is a response to the need for cities to support people to move comfortably out and about, to gather and to rest without having to rely on cars or private air conditioning. In my talk I will share our key findings, and some of the patterns, which include both things we can do to create more hospitable cities now, and for the long term.

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