Dr Hartmut Fünfgeld is a Senior Lecturer with Sustainability and Urban Planning in RMIT’s School of Global, Urban and Social Studies. From 2013 to 2014, he was the Acting Director of the newly established Centre for Urban Research in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, where he continues to lead research projects.
Hartmut has ten years of experience in research, consulting and practice on climate change and sustainability with international governmental and non-governmental organisations. He has a PhD in human geography from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
In 2012-2013, Hartmut was Chief Investigator in the project ‘Implementing tools to increase adaptive capacity in the community and natural resource management sectors’, funded by the State Government of Victoria through the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research (VCCCAR). The project generated new knowledge on the needs and capacities of government service providers and funded agencies in Victoria to implement adaptation methodologies and tools. The collaborative project worked closely with the Victorian Catchment Management Authorities, community service organisations and Primary Care Partnerships.
Prior to this Hartmut was the primary researcher in an interdisciplinary 18-month project that explored approaches and methodologies for local and regional climate change adaptation planning in order to develop a decision-making ‘navigator’ to better inform adaptation policy and practice by Victorian authorities at various administrative levels. The project produced a proof-of-concept of a flexible online guidance framework for climate change adaptation, called the ‘Climate Change Adaptation Navigator’.
In 2013, the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies awarded Hartmut the Research Excellence Award.
- Fünfgeld, H. and A. Rance (2013): Vital services are highly vulnerable under climate change. In: The Conversation, 5 September 2013.
- Fünfgeld, H. (2011): As the climate shifts, are Australian cities ready? In: The Conversation, 15 August 2011.
- McEvoy, D. and H.Fünfgeld (2011): Learning to adapt. In: Climate Spectator, 8 August 2011.
- McEvoy, D. and H. Fünfgeld (2011): Adapting to climate change: how will we learn to do it? In: The Conversation, 8 August 2011.
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Hartmut studies social and institutional responses to climate change in urban and regional areas and develops tools and processes that enable individual and organisational learning and change for climate change adaptation. He has a keen interest in gaining a better understanding of the social and equity implications of climate change.
Currently Hartmut is Chief Investigator of three projects funded by the Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership (VASP):
- “Understanding support context for embedding climate change adaptation in Councils”, in collaboration with the City of Greater Geelong and Net Balance Foundation.
Using the City of Greater Geelong, Net Balance and RMIT Climate Change Adaptation Toolkit, this project will investigate what the support context requirements are for implementing the Toolkit and for embedding climate change considerations across local Government operations.
- “How well are we adapting?”, in collaboration with the City of Wyndham and the Western Alliance for Greenhouse Action. Co-Chief Investigator: Dr Susie Moloney, RMIT.
Research and development of: (a) a framework to monitor, evaluate and report on councils’ climate adaptation performance in key services, including a set of tested performance indicators, and (b) best-practice tools for reporting to the community on climate adaptation performance.
- “Increasing resilience of vulnerable rural communities to climate variability and change”, in collaboration with Southern Grampians Shire Council and the Southern Grampians and Glenelg Primary Care Partnership.
This project investigates means to increase capacity of vulnerable rural populations in Victoria to better plan for the impacts of climate variability and change, which are already having ramifications on human health and many indirect social and economic consequences.
He is also involved as lead RMIT researcher in the project ‘Building resilience through translocality’, funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and in a number of smaller research projects focusing on climate change vulnerability and adaptation.
In addition, Hartmut regularly provides advisory and review services on climate change and sustainability planning.
He also regularly acts as a peer-reviewer for academic journals including Global Environmental Change; Environmental Policy and Governance; Environment & Planning C: Government and Policy; Climate Policy; Disasters; Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability; Landscape and Urban Planning; Sustainability; Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension; and the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.
Hartmut is an Honorary Fellow with the Melbourne School of Land and Environment at the University of Melbourne.
- Climate change adaptation
- Climate change impacts
- Urban sustainability planning
- Social vulnerability
- Environmental and climate justice
- Local government and urban planning
- Cert MH Risk Assessment Twente (Netherlands)
- DipMan RMIT
- DipGeogr, Dr Phil Heidelberg (Germany)
Industry experience and accomplishments
- Research, consulting and applied work on urban sustainability planning and climate change responses in the public sector.
- Lead roles in developing processes and tools for organisational climate change adaptation.
- Led the development of a pioneering local government capacity building program on climate change adaptation at ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability Oceania.
- Delivered research, training and advisory services to UN Habitat, UN ISDR, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Rockefeller Foundation and other international organisations.
- PhD in human geography. Dissertation on the impacts of political violence on social vulnerability and natural resource management institutions in war-affected northeastern Sri Lanka. Field work in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka.
- Practical experience in participatory research methods, including social learning approaches.
- Country experience: Germany and other EU countries, Australia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Zambia, Ghana.
- Institute of Australian Geographers
- German Association for Applied Geography
- Heidelberg Geographical Society, Germany
- Mulligan, M.,Steele, W.,Rickards, L.,Fuenfgeld, H. (2016). (In Press) Keywords in planning: what do we mean by 'community resilience'? In: International Planning Studies, , 1 - 15
- Fuenfgeld, H. (2015). Facilitating local climate change adaptation through transnational municipal networks In: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 12, 67 - 73
- Preston, B.,Rickards, L.,Fuenfgeld, H.,Keenan, R. (2015). Toward reflexive climate adaptation research In: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 14, 127 - 135
- Steele, W.,Mata, L.,Fuenfgeld, H. (2015). Urban climate justice: creating sustainable pathways for humans and other species In: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 14, 121 - 126
- Moloney, S.,Fuenfgeld, H. (2015). Emergent processes of adaptive capacity building: Local government climate change alliances and networks in Melbourne In: Urban Climate, 14, 30 - 40
- Fuenfgeld, H.,McEvoy, D. (2014). Frame divergence in climate change adaptation policy: insights from Australian local government planning In: Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 32, 603 - 622
- Fuenfgeld, H.,Turner, S.,Rance, A.,Wallis, P.,Bosomworth, K.,Lonsdale, K. (2014). Facilitating adaptation: Lessons learnt from engaging and supporting the primary health and community services sector in climate change adaptation In: Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research Melbourne, Australia
- Poblet Balcell, M.,Fuenfgeld, H.,McShane, I. (2014). Telecommunications and disaster management: Participatory approaches and climate change adaptation In: Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, 2, 1 - 14
- Rickards, L.,Ison, R.,Fuenfgeld, H.,Wiseman, J. (2014). Opening and closing the future: climate change, adaptation, and scenario planning In: Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 32, 587 - 602
- Fuenfgeld, H.,Millin, S.,McEvoy, D. (2013). Framing adaptation in the Victorian context - case study report of City of Melbourne In: Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research (VCCCAR) Melbourne, Australia
- Enabling Adaptation Action for Vulnerable Rural Persons. Funded by: Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership (VASP) from (2014 to 2015)
- Implementing tools to increase adaptive capacity in the community and natural resource management sectors. Funded by: Department of Sustainability and Environment Victoria Research Grant from (2012 to 2013)
3 PhD Current Supervisions and 1 Masters by Research Current Supervisions