The Peri-urban Region Research Group conducts research projects aiming to assist planners and policy makers to make strategic, informed decisions about the future of valuable peri-urban regions.
The Peri-urban Region Research Group is located in the Sustainability and Urban Planning area of the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies and is a part of the Centre for Urban Research.
It is headed by Professor Michael Buxton. Professor Buxton has over 30 years’ experience with policy development and research of peri-urban regions. Between 1978 – 1984, he was an elected councillor and Mayor of the former Shire of Sherbrooke in the acclaimed Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne. In addition, he was a member of the Upper Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges Regional Planning Authority which planned the future of this important region. He is a former senior executive of the Victorian government planning and environment agencies with responsibility for environmental policy. Joining RMIT in 1998, Professor Buxton has led a range of large peri-urban research projects. He also chaired the Premier’s Green Wedge working party which developed proposals for the introduction of a legislated urban growth boundary and a green belt in connection with Melbourne’s 2002 metropolitan strategy, Melbourne 2030.
Dr Melissa Neave, from the School's Sustainability and Urban Planning area, is leading a research project into regional settlement patterns. Dr Neave is an environmental geographer with experience in natural resource management and a particular interest in water resources. Her research spans the social and physical sciences and seeks to find solutions to natural resource problems at scales ranging from the local to the international. She is currently working on a major project, with Dr Bill Pritchard at the University of Sydney, funded by the Australian Government’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. This project aims to investigate the drivers and implications of land ownership change in rural Australia through an examination of land parcels data over the 2002 – 2008 period.
A number of other Sustainability and Urban Planning staff have also worked on peri-urban research projects.
About peri-urban research projects
Peri-urban areas form belts of non-urban land fringing metropolitan centres, usually containing important natural resources, remnant biodiversity and significant landscapes. These areas are under increasing worldwide threat from development and overuse.
The group's research projects focus on Melbourne’s peri-urban regions, examining its characteristics and the impacts of settlement patterns and other drivers of change on land use, vegetation, agriculture and water.
The Sustainability and Urban Planning area has developed a number of key partnerships with other organisations.
These include Spatial Vision Pty Ltd which has assisted with spatial mapping and policy analysis, in particular, Stephen Farrell and Milos Pelikan, consultants Danny O’Neill of Chandris Pty Ltd and Andrew Butt, and Associate Professor Trevor Budge of La Trobe University (Bendigo).
Strong partnerships have been developed with funding organisations, in particular the former Land and Water Australia, Sustainability Victoria and the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment.
For further information, contact the Peri-urban Region Research Group: