30 August 2013
University of the Sunshine Coast PhD student Caroline Osborne’s urban planning research has earned her a ticket to attend the Knowledge Cities World Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, early next month.
Ms Osborne, 39, of Peregian Beach gained a PhD Participation Scholarship from USC for her ongoing research into how the needs of communities can be integrated into regional planning and development projects.
The scholarship will cover travel costs, accommodation and entry to the summit, from 9-12 September, which will focus on strategies for sustainable, knowledge-based developments and involve urban development academics and professionals from across the globe.
“To attend an international event of this calibre at this stage in my PhD is fantastic,” she said. “It will give me the chance to meet highly sought-after academics and industry professionals who can share their own knowledge and experience.
“It is also the ideal environment to establish international contacts and receive constructive feedback on my research from other academics and PhD students.”
Ms Osborne’s research, which is being supervised by USC’s Senior Lecturer in Environment and Planning Studies Dr Claudia Baldwin and Senior Lecturer in Sustainability Advocacy Dr Dana Thomsen, is focused on the Little Mountain community on the Sunshine Coast.
She aims to develop a set of recommendations for urban planners, councils and local politicians to help them establish relationships with communities in order to meet the needs of those communities.
“Many urban planners and developers use data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to inform their decision-making on which facilities and services are needed in a region,” she said.
“However, research suggests that development must take the specific needs of the community into account in order for the development to be relevant and welcomed by the community,” she said. “This also contributes to more sustainable and resilient communities.”
Ms Osborne’s research has already received commendation, winning the Best Higher Degree Research Presentation award at USC’s 2013 Research Week in July.
— Jessica Halls