21 Sep 2015
Southern Cities – Global Agendas: Building International Research Partnerships

Australia has much in common with many South American nations, like Brazil and Chile. As resource-rich highly urbanised countries, all face challenges related to managing urban growth while ensuring equity, sustainability and good governance in their cities.

Developing region-specific solutions to shared complex urban issues presents an opportunity to understand and explore alternative approaches to advancing equitable and sustainable cities in some of the world’s most urbanised nations.

RMIT University and the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme recently hosted an interactive seminar with universities and research agencies from across Latin America focused on developing a collective  understanding of complex urban problems, and innovative approaches in Australian and Latin American cities.

The seminar – Southern Cities – Global Agendas: Building Interdisciplinary, Intercontinental, Inter-cultural Research Partnerships – brought together thirty Australia Awards Fellows from Latin America with urban experts from RMIT University, with an interest in Latin America, and the University of Melbourne.

Participants engaged in a challenge workshop to simulate how scholars from Latin America and Australia might work together, and with government and industry, to tackle a chosen transcontinental and trans-disciplinary ‘wicked’ problem in the urban context.

The enthusiasm, energy and innovative ideas shared in the collaborative research development exercise is representative of the broader interest in bringing together scholars from Latin America and Australia for collaborative applied research.

The Southern Cities Research Network is supported by the Victorian state government and seeks to facilitate collaboration and interchange between Victorian and South American researchers – with public and private sector partners – to tackle complex urban problems.

For more information about DFAT’s Australia Awards Fellowship program, click here.