Brendan F.D. Barrett is a senior lecturer in Sustainability and Urban Planning.As a social scientist, his professional experience spans the breadth of research, online education and communication in the areas of urban and sustainability science.
Brendan has published three books (two edited volumes and one co-authored), nine book chapters and seventeen peer-reviewed journal articles. He is the executive producer on seven major creative works including award-winning documentaries and interactive websites. He is currently undertaking research on (1) local energy transitions in a carbon-constrained world and (2) ethical cities.
His past research interests include local and urban environmental management, decentralization, environmental governance, environmental assessment, climate change, energy security, ecological modernisation, environmental attitudes and values, environmental information networks, environmental education, and science communication.
In 2008, he set up and became the editor of the United Nations University's online magazine Our World. He has written over 70 articles for the magazine. These articles have been syndicated in the Guardian, Al Jazeera online, the Solutions Journal and Resilience online magazine. From 2015, he has been a regular contributors to The Conversation.
Major funded projects
- Ethical Cities - Shaping the future of your city: Massive Open Online Course on the FutureLearn Platform. Funded by RMIT and developed in collaboration with the UN Global Compact Cities Programme. Co-lead educator with Professor Ralph Horne.
- Cleaning up the radioactive contamination of Fukushima. Funded by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment (US$130,000). Supervisory Producer.
- Traditional knowledge and climate science. Funded by the UNU-IAS Traditional Knowledge Initiative (US$61,000). Executive Producer. Directed by Citt Williams.
- Climate change adaptation in Ghana. Funded by the University of Tokyo (US$47,000). Executive Producer. Directed by Kaori Brand.
- Satoumi – Coastal Communities in Japan. Funded by the UNU-IAS Ishikawa Operating Unit (US$53,400). Executive Producer. Directed by Kaori Brand.
- Urban biodiversity in Kanazawa. Funded by Kanazawa City Government (US$27,563). Executive Producer. Directed by Kaori Brand.
- Forest policy and economics in the Western Balkans: Funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland (US$40,000).
- The Wisdom Years: Coping with an ageing society in urban Japan. Funded by the World Health Organisation and UNU (US$100,000).
- Voices of the Chichinautzin: Conservation of the biological corridor between Mexico City and Cuernavaca. Funded by the UNU (US$100,000). Executive Producer. Directed by Patricia Sims and Luis Patron.
- Saving the Ayuquila River: Community and scientist collaboration to overcome the significant environmental challenges facing this important water resource. Funded by the UNU ($50,000). Executive Producer. Directed by Luis Patron.
- Global Virtual University – connecting universities in Norway and Africa in the field of development management. Funded by the Government of Norway (US$3 million).
- Iwate Environment Network – online education on local environmental issues. Funded by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (US$1 million). Collaboration with Iwate Prefectural Government.
Brendan is a senior lecturer in Sustainability and Urban Planning. He is program manager for the Masters of International Urban and Environmental Management (MC222). He as a background in urban and environmental planning in Europe and Japan, and has written extensively on environmental impact assessment, national and local environmental policy-making.
Prior to taking up his current position, Brendan was employed as a research fellow with the UN Global Compact Cities Programme hosted at RMIT University. He worked with the United Nations in Japan from 1995 to 2015, initially with UNEP and then with the United Nations University.
Brendan currently teaches an undergraduate course on Global Environmental Representations and two-post graduate courses on Urbanization Issues in Asia Pacific and Global Cities/Global Challenges. He has developed and teaches two online course modules on Strategic Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment (2009 onwards). He also teaches a course on Science Communication (2014 onwards) as part of the UNU Masters in Sustainability.
In the past he taught courses on environmental politics at Aoyama Gakuin University (2002 to 2004) and on environmental governance at Saitama University (2009).
- Senior Visiting Research Fellow, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (2015 onwards)
- Visiting Associate Professor, Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science, University of Tokyo (2013 onwards)
- Associate Member, RMIT Centre for Urban Research (2015 onwards)
- RMIT Board Member for ProSPER.Net (2016 onwards)
Awards, honours, fellowships and grants
- 2011: The Communicator Awards — Award of Distinction in the Green/Eco-Friendly category for Our World 2.0 web magazine
- 2009: Our World 2.02 Web Magazine, Honorary Mention, Earth Journalism Awards
- 2008: Finalist in the Stockholm Challenge for the Ayuquila River E-case Study
- 2008: Voices of the Chichinautzin - Best Documentary – Science and Environment, Tepoztlan Film Festival
- 2008: Society for New Communications Research — Collaboration and Co-Creation – Academic Division – The Wisdom Years
- 2008: Best blog design for Our World 2.0 web magazine
- 2007: Saving the Ayuquila River - Society for New Communications Research — Excellence Award in the category of New Media Creation
- 1996: Ph.D. Fellowship to the United Nations University, Institute of Advanced Studies Tokyo, Japan
- 1994: Canon Europe Foundation Visiting Research Fellowship, Kyoto University, Economic Research Institute
- 1986: Research Fellowship award to undertake research at Kyoto University from the Japan Ministry of Education, Sports and Science
- 1997 Doctor of Philosophy
Oxford Brookes University, Department of Planning, Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment
Dissertation title: Local Agenda 21 and Environmental Management in Japan and the United Kingdom – From Fragmentation to Integration
Case studies included Lancashire County Council and Kirklees Metropolitan Council in the UK and Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City in Japan.
- 1983 Bachelor of Science with Honours (Upper Second): Town and Country Planning, Heriot-Watt University, School of the Built Environment
Thesis title: Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of the Closure of the Invergordon Aluminium Smelter in Scotland
- 2015: Research Fellow, UN Global Compact Cities Programme, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
- 2010: Academic Programme Officer, Head of Communications, United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan
- 2002: Academic Programme Officer , Head of Online Learning, United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan
- 2000: Research Fellow, United Nations University, Institute for Advanced Studies, Tokyo, Japan
- 1997: Research Associate, United Nations University, Institute for Advanced Studies, Tokyo, Japan
- 1995: Programme Officer, United Nations Environment Programme, International Environmental Technology Centre, Shiga, Japan
- 1992: Senior Environmental Planner, Ove Arup and Partners, London, UK
- 1991: Environmental Planner, Cobham Resource Consultants, Oxford, UK
- 1989: Editor and Researcher (part-time), International Lake Environment Committee, Shiga, Japan (post held concurrently)
- 1989: Environmental Consultant (part-time), Access Research Firm, Osaka, Japan (post held concurrently)
- 1987: Monkasho Scholar, Kyoto University, Department of Civil Engineering, Economic Research Institute, Kyoto, Japan
- 1986: Monkasho Scholar, Osaka University of Foreign Studies, Osaka, Japan
- 1984: Research Associate, Power Station Impacts Assessment Unit, Oxford, UK
Past professional activities
- Peer Reviewer of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (2011-2012)
- Visiting Faculty, Centre for Development Studies, University of Adger, Norway (2009-2015)
- Member of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (2006-2015)
- Member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Services Research (2001-2007)
- International Advisory Editor for the Australian Journal of Environmental Education (1999-2005)
- Member of the Advisory Panel for the Preparation of the Iwate Prefectural Government Basic Environment Plan (1998-1999)
- Seconded to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for the Third Conference of the Parties held in Kyoto, Japan, December 1997
- Member of the UK Royal Town Planning Institute (1987-2005)
- Barrett, B.,Horne, R. (2017). Local energy plans for transitions to a low carbon future In: Planning After Petroleum: Preparing Cities for the Age Beyond Oil, Routledge, New York, United States
- Barrett, B. (2016). Innovative approach to the formation and sustainability of a learning community connecting students in university classrooms across Asia Pacific In: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Education: Volume 2, Emerald Group Publishing, United Kingdom
- Barrett, B.,Horne, R.,Fien, J. (2016). The ethical city: A rationale for an urgent new urban agenda In: Sustainability, 8, 1 - 14
- Barrett, B.,Notaras, M.,Smith, C. (2014). Communicating scientific research through the web and social media: Experience of the United Nations University with the Our World 2.0 web magazine In: Geoscience Research and Outreach: Schools and Public Engagement - Innovations in Science Education and Technology Volume 21, Springer, Netherlands
- Barrett, B.,Higa, C.,Ellis, R. (2012). Emerging university student experiences of learning technologies across the Asia Pacific In: Computers and Education, 58, 1021 - 1027
- Ellis, R.,Barrett, B.,Higa, C.,Bliuc, A. (2011). Student experiences of learning technologies in the Asia Pacific region In: Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 20, 103 - 117
1 PhD Current Supervisions