Students from Melbourne and Mexico have come together to transform the urban environments of their home cities.
Architecture students from La Salle Universidad, Mexico City, recently travelled to Melbourne to join RMIT University students for a unique study tour focusing on shaping sustainable cities and drawing on the challenges they provide.
Guided by students from the Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (Honours) and Master of Urban Planning and Environment, La Salle students explored the CBD, examining opportunities for urban renewal and redevelopment.
Iconic landmarks such as Swanston St, Elizabeth St and the National Gallery of Victoria were transformed into urban renewal laboratories for a week, where students examined how programs and policies can empower urban spaces for people to enjoy and inhabit.
The RMIT students have now travelled to Mexico for the second leg of the study tour to analyse the similarities between urban spaces in Melbourne and Mexico City.
As well as site visits to the CBD and walking tours, students also participated in a series of seminars hosted by RMIT and the City of Melbourne.
Professor Rob Adams, Director of City and Planning for the City of Melbourne, presented to the group on the history and future of urban renewal and sustainability of Melbourne's CBD.
The unique study tour focused on shaping sustainable cities.
Professor Adams praised the collaboration between La Salle and RMIT students, highlighting the opportunities that emerged from the study tour.
"By working on similar problems we can learn a lot from the knowledge the Mexican students can share," he said.
"No doubt, our students will learn a lot from going to Mexico City and interacting with their challenges, and for us this is all part of how you work and analyse and help a city to change."
Professor Adams spoke of his 30-year connection with RMIT, calling the City campus a prime example of integrating urban renewal into a busy CBD environment.
"RMIT is not one of those campuses with a wall around it - it's actually a campus right in the middle of our city," he said.
"As students flow in and out, the city flows in and out too and it's a really exciting place to learn and to create."
With urban population growth increasing and temperatures rising rapidly, Professor Adams told students the biggest challenges facing global cities were population growth and climate change.
"We're going to see the population of our cities grow from 50 to 70 per cent, but more importantly from 3.5 to 6.4 billion people between now and 2050, so we're going to have to double the urban capacity of our cities," he said.
"If we can accommodate that population successfully and decrease the greenhouse gases that are produced by our cities, we can pretty well solve the problem of climate change."
The study tour was designed to promote discussion on issues facing both urban environments in Melbourne and Mexico City, providing a diverse forum for debate from dynamic global perspectives.
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