Resistance to state-led gentrification on the Waterloo public housing estate (2015-2018): Laura’s PhD is examining the ways in which residents of the Waterloo public housing estate are responding to and resisting the redevelopment of their homes. Her research uses ethnographic methods to understand the perspectives of residents as they experience the upheaval of their neighbourhood and community, and aims to give voice to their cause.
Cohousing for seniors (2016-17): Laura managed the Cohousing for Seniors project as part of the Liveable Communities Grant from the NSW Department of Families and Community Services. The project explored opportunities and barriers to cohousing in NSW, aiming to understand seniors’ perspectives to it as an alternative to conventional housing options.
Mapping Sydney’s Potential Foodsheds (2015-16): This project involved developing mapping to indicate where Sydney’s potential food producing areas are located and to highlight the challenges facing agriculture in the Sydney Basin. A range of scenarios were mapped to indicate how different situations—climate shocks, changes in diet and population growth, for example—will affect Sydney’s food security. The project involved stakeholder engagement to understand the range and depth of challenges facing peri-urban agriculture, and to understand how the outputs of this project might be used to inform decision making and improved land-use planning
Best practice planning system responses to peri-urban agriculture (2015-2016): Laura led a research project for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which investigated best practices planning system responses for managing and protecting peri-urban agriculture. The research culminated in a report which outlined the key mechanisms used in cities around the world to manage peri-urban agricultural lands, including findings regarding the strengths and shortcomings of these various mechanisms.
NSW Get Healthy at Work (2014-15): Laura led a project to deliver advice and support for service providers to improve uptake of active travel in NSW workplaces as part of a pilot project by the NSW Office of Public Health. This project involved designing and delivering a range of materials for both support providers and workers to help them develop and implement an action plan to increase uptake of active travel within targeted workplaces.
Transport outcomes achieved through the land-use planning system (2012-14): Laura has led several projects relating to achieving sustainable transport outcomes using mechanisms in the land-use planning system. Specifically, these projects examined the use of a Travel Planning mechanism in development planning in NSW and other jurisdictions, evaluating its efficacy for achieving sustainable transport outcomes, and identifying possible improvements to achieve greater outcomes. Laura’s work in this space was awarded a Commendation from the Planning Institute of Australia’s NSW Awards for Planning Excellence, and have informed the City of Sydney’s travel planning guide.
Planning system inputs advice for the Office of Environment and Heritage: Laura conducted a research project which provided advice to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage about improving their input and engagement with the planning system, with a view to improving urban sustainability outcomes in NSW. Laura’s contribution involved reviewing literature and policy and designing engagement processes to help stakeholders identify key opportunities, gaps and challenges for achieving urban sustainability outcomes in the NSW planning system.
Societal Perceptions and Acceptability of Remediation Technologies (2014-2016): Laura managed and contributed to the final years of the SPART project, which investigated community perceptions and acceptance of remediation technologies. The project aimed to understand community perception, worry, trust and acceptance of technologies used to remediate contaminated environments. Laura led the development of community engagement guidelines for policymakers and practitioners dealing with remediation of contaminated sites.