Research Interests

  • Water sensitive cities
  • Urban water governance
  • Transitions in socio-technical systems
  • Resilience of social-ecological systems
  • Strategic planning
  • Institutional change
  • Green infrastructure and liveability

Research Projects

CRC A4.2: Mapping Water Sensitive City Scenarios (3 years, starting Jul 2014)
As project leader, Briony will be developing conceptual and methodological tools for supporting strategic planning at multiple scales and by different stakeholders to enable a city’s transition to a water sensitive future.

CRC A4.3: DAnCE4Water (Jul 2013 – Present)
European Union 7th Framework PREPARED: DAnCE4Water(Jan 2010 – Dec 2013)
Development a computer-aided strategic planning tool, “DAnCE4Water”, for exploring the dynamic interplay between society, urban form and water infrastructure in cities. As part of an interdisciplinary and international research team, Briony’s research informs the model’s development with empirical and theoretical insights about institutional dynamics and scenarios for urban water futures. This involves empirical fieldwork, qualitative analysis, development of conceptual frameworks and translation of qualitative results for engineering applications. This project was conducted in collaboration with the Institute of Environmental Engineering, University of Innsbruck.

Transition Scenarios for Melbourne as a Water Sensitive City (May 2011 – Aug 2012)
 As project manager, facilitator and analyst, Briony led a large participatory process in Melbourne to develop a long-term vision of a water sensitive city and strategic initiatives for achieving the vision, through participatory workshops involving more than 40 industry practitioners from local municipalities, government departments, water utilities, academia and the community. This project was conducted in collaboration with the Dutch Research Institute For Transitions, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Facilitating System Transitions in Urban Water (Jan 2010 – May 2013)
For her PhD Research research in the field of environmental sociology, Briony developed a preliminary meta-governance framework to guide strategic initiatives for enabling systemic socio-technical change from conventional water servicing to water sensitive alternatives, through exploration of the case of Melbourne’s water system. This involved literature review, theory development, collection and analysis of primary and secondary data through content analysis, interviews and action research techniques.