Adelaide Living Laboratory Research Projects

The Adelaide Living Laboratory (ALL) – which comprises Lochiel Park Green Village, Bowden Village and the Tonsley Innovation Hub developments, seeks to engage stakeholders with a view to provide pathways for low carbon living. Stage 1 of the ALL includes 4 main research tasks:

  • Task 1: Co-Creation Toolkit
  • Task 2: Precinct Tool Case Studies
  • Task 3: Electricity Demand Management
  • Task 4: Value Proposition of Low Carbon Living


Task 1: Co-Creation Toolkit

Co-creation is an emerging methodology that aims to connect researchers, industry, end users, and other stakeholders across all stages of a development process to shift from consultation to collaboration. To date, this methodology has been applied in information communication technology product development and health care service delivery with exceptional results. This project, as a part of the Adelaide Living Laboratory, is seeking to test whether the tools and techniques of co-creation can generate an environment in which the design and delivery of urban scale projects can take place in a collaborative rather than consultative way. This project will focus on evaluating the application of various tools and techniques to low-carbon urban development, and on analysing cross-disciplinary interactions and the non-monetary value exchanges that take place as a part of the co-creative process. This research aims to demonstrate that trans-disciplinary collaboration and end-user involvement in urban development can lead to better results for all involved.

Research Student: Aaron Davis

Aaron holds Masters degrees in Architecture and in Sustainable Design as well as undergraduate degrees in Classical Music and Architectural Studies. His research spans a range of areas, linked together by a common thread of issues relating to the built environment, sustainability, health, and wellbeing. Aaron's Masters studies focussed on the barriers to including health and wellbeing as key considerations in the development of urban areas, while his current research is focussed on the facilitation of collaboration between professional, academic, and community groups.

Aaron has previously presented research at a range of national and international forums. This has included the presentation of a paper on the need for a holistic measure development in determining special and differential treatment provisions in pluryilateral and multilateral trade agreements at the World Trade Organisation Annual Forum in Geneva, and the delivery of a public lecture as a part of Australian Heritage Week that explored sociocultural issues related to the preservation and adaptation of urban form. 

Aaron is currently undertaking a PhD with the Adelaide Living Laboratories (within the national Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living) exploring whether the involvement of complex groups of stakeholders in the design and development of urban areas can lead to greater understanding (and therefore uptake and use) of low-carbon technologies.

 Aaron Davis


Project Title: The application of co-creation as a methodology for low-carbon urban development.
School: School of Art, Architecture and Design
Supervisors: Dr Jane AndrewDr Robert Crocker
Project Partner: Renewal SA 


Task 4: Value Proposition of Low Carbon Living

Brownfields regeneration to create transit oriented developments is seen as a key mechanism to move to a low carbon built environment, but little is understood about the value of such developments to residents, the building sector or wider society. The creation of low carbon buildings, in a setting of mixed residential, retail and commercial usage, with high frequency public transit opportunities is expected to greatly reduce the carbon impact profile of the local community.  Yet, the literature also highlights many health and productivity benefits associated with thermally comfortable buildings, active transport opportunities and the social impact of changes to work/life dynamics.  These co-benefits are likely to play an important part in understanding the full value of low carbon transit oriented developments to all stakeholders.  This research project is designed to increase our understanding of the value associated creating the physical and social infrastructure required to deliver vibrant, socially inclusive, low carbon communities; as well as community scale energy, water, waste management, and transport systems that extend benefits beyond individual building boundaries.  The output goals include the determination of the value proposition from various perspectives and scales including households, urban developers, and the wider community.

Research Student: Catherine Kain

Catherine completed a Bachelor of Business (Property) and Bachelor of Management at the University of South Australia. Her academic achievements resulted in numerous University awards and prizes including the Gary Lindblom Prize for the highest grade point average in Bachelor of Business (Property) over 3 years and the University of South Australia Medal – Division of Business for outstanding academic merit throughout all years of the double degree program.

In 2014, Catherine was award an Endeavour (Prime Minister’s Australia Asia) Scholarship to undertake Bachelor of Business (Honours) and an internship in China. Catherine’s interest in sustainability led her to choose Tianjin University as her base in China, in line with the University of South Australia and Tianjin University’s collaborative China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (CAC_SUD). Catherine achieved First Class Honours on the topic: ‘Housing affordability in China and Australia – a comparative analysis’. Catherine was also honoured as the first foreigner to obtain an internship with the state-owned construction and engineering enterprise China Rail Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC) in Beijing, China. She has now returned to Australia and to research to continue to pursue her interests in sustainable development.

Catherine is currently undertaking a PhD with the Adelaide Living Laboratories (within the national Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living), detailing stakeholder perspectives in three developments in Adelaide as part of the ‘engaged communities and living laboratories’ program.

Catherine Kain




Project Title: The value proposition for low carbon transit oriented developments
School: School of Natural and Built Environments
Supervisors: Dr Kathryn Davidson, Dr Stephen Berry
Project Partner: Renewal SA

Areas of study and research

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