Associate Professor Claudia Baldwin

Accessibility links

Associate Professor Claudia Baldwin


Teaching areas

  • Planning and Spatial Governance
  • Participation and Conflict Resolution in Planning
  • Advanced Planning Practice
  • Regional Infrastructure Planning
  • Water Planning
  • Planning Research Project

Research areas

  • collaborative decision-making, community engagement, and alternative dispute resolution
  • social and community sustainability, attitudes / perceptions, community-based governance, social and institutional arrangements
  • coastal and water resource planning and management
  • affordable housing; age-friendly communities; sustainable design
  • visual research methods: photovoice; design charrettes; participatory mapping; 3D vis. experiential learning


Prior to joining USC in 2006, Claudia worked for over 25 years in environmental policy and planning in government (e.g. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Queensland Premiers Dept and Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines), and consulting in Australia and internationally (eg National Water Commission (NWC), Queensland Urban Land Development Authority, International Centre for Water and Resource Management, and WWF). She has considerable experience in collaboration and consultation with all levels of government, research institutions, private enterprise, not-for-profit groups and community. Claudia is a trained mediator.

Claudia is a foundation member of the Sustainability Research Centre (SRC) and the Engage Research Centre at USC. Claudia specialises in action research using participatory and visual methods related to institutional and social-environmental change especially applied to water and coastal planning and management and climate change adaptation. She was a Chief Investigator in the National Competitive Grant CSIRO Coastal Cluster Barriers to Science Uptake.

As co-leader of the multi-university project, Experiential Learning in Planning, funded by Commonwealth government OLT, Claudia is passionate about preparing planning graduates for the real world. The report is now available and is accompanied by a Toolkit for Educators.

She is co-author of the book Baldwin C and Hamstead M, 2014, Integrated Water ResourcePlanning: Achieving Sustainable Outcomes, Earthscan Routledge, London. Book orders by email.

Claudia recently partnered with Sunshine Coast Council, Queensland State Government, Churches of Christ and Deicke Richards (urban design) to research seniors' perceptions of their needs in the built environment. The report, Infill Development for Older Australians in South East Queensland is available for free download.

Claudia has partnered with colleagues at University of Mataram, Indonesia and Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenya on water planning research. She is currently collaborating with researchers at CASS, Beijing on flood resilience, and an international team of researchers (from USA, Canada, UK , Thailand, and Australia) to work on socialecological visualisation of coastal change, initially coordinated by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center at University of Maryland.

Professional memberships

  • Sunshine Coast Council’s Housing Affordability Taskforce since 2009
  • Founding member of CleanTech, a group promoting Sunshine Coast environmental industries
  • Book review editor of the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management since 2009 and member of Editorial Board since 1992
  • Corporate member, Planning Institute of Australia (PIA)
  • Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ)  
  • International Association of Public Participation (IAP2)
  • International Association of Society and Natural Resources
  • IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) 


  • Core Value Award for Participatory Research, 2013, International Association of Public Participation Australasia
  • Excellence Award for Cutting Edge Research and Teaching, 2012, Planning Institute of Australia (Qld)
  • Vice chancellor and President's Award for Excellence in Research (Early Career Researcher), 2012, University of the Sunshine Coast

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • building resilience through governance and community awareness and action in relation to climate change impacts on the coastal zone
  • community-based governance and social / economic impacts of water allocation planning
  • visual methods in action research such as using GIS, photovoice, charrettes to investigate values and social change
  • planning with under-represented groups (seniors, disabled) to better match needs to the built environment outcomes
  • trialling and evaluating approaches to community engagement and conflict resolution

Current PhD students

  • Marcelle Holdaway – Accountability in coal seam gas development
  • Nenna Ike – University student accommodation in Australia
  • Caroline Osborne – CommUNITY:the efficacy of social capital assessment in delivering community visions
  • Megan Marks – Fostering education and critical dialogue through visualising the environment: the transformative value of Green Art
  • Jenny Shaw (L Stocker, principal, Curtin University) – Photovoice: the Abrolhos Project

Research grants

Project nameInvestigatorsFunding bodyYearFocus
Creative models of accommodation for older Australians in infill development Chief investigator ULDA, Diecke Richards, Churches of Christ Care, SCC 2011–2012 To identify models of accommodation that are attractive to older Australians who seek integration with community and access to services, using collaborative visual methods to engage seniors.
Integrated Development and Care Models Chief investigator Churches of Christ Care 2010–2011 To identify models for integrating care services through co-location across a range of sectors.
Methodology for developing affordable housing targets in Urban Development Areas Chief investigator Urban Land Development Authority 2010–2011 To develop a methodology for housing targets that can be applied across Queensland.
Review of Water Planning across Australia Co-investigator National Water Commission 2010 To review progress of jurisdictions towards NWI commitments.
Water Planning Tools Co-investigator National Water Commission 2008–2010 To develop tools to assist water planning using case studies in SA, NT, and Qld.
At the Water’s Edge: investigating community perspectives on climate change Co-investigator USC Internal Research Grant 2009 To use visual research methods to investigate views of attendees at an Environmental Art event, Floating Land.
An approach to water allocation planning in the Northern Territory Co-investigator Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts, Northern Territory 2008 To examine water planning in NT case studies and recommend good practices fur future planning.
Inter-jurisdictional analysis of community-based governance arrangements for water resource management in Western Australia Co-investigator Department of Water, Western Australia 2008 To research existing example of self-management of water resources for application in WA.
Water Planning in Australia: Lessons Learned Co-investigator National Water Commission 2007–2008 To review water planning around Australia to identify good practices and lessons learned after 10 years of water reform.
Conflict Resolution in Local Government   USC Internal Seed Grant, Maroochy and Noosa Councils 2007 To use case studies to explore the role of local governments in resolving planning conflicts.
Public Participation in Dams and Dam Development Co-investigator United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) 2006 To identify good practices of community engagement for dam development using case studies from around the world.


Back to top


Back to top

Searching {{model.SearchType}} for "{{model.Query}}" returned more than {{model.MaxResults}} results.
The top {{model.MaxResults}} of {{model.TotalItems}} are shown below, ordered by relevance ({{model.TotalSeconds}} seconds)

Searching {{model.SearchType}} for "{{model.Query}}" returned {{model.TotalItems}} results, ordered by relevance ({{model.TotalSeconds}} seconds)

Searching {{model.SearchType}} for "{{model.Query}}" returned no results.