Dr Silvia Tavares | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Silvia Tavares

PhD Lincoln University, MSc UFRGS, BArch UFPel

  • Senior Lecturer, Urban Design and Town Planning
  • School of Law and Society
+61 (7) 5456 5884
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Silvia Tavares

I am an urban designer with a background in architecture, urbanism, and building and city science (affiliate member of PIA and registered architect and urbanist in Brazil). I am interested in the production of high-quality well-designed public spaces which enhance the quality of life of the people using them. My research focuses on providing evidence to produce public open spaces that are thermally comfortable and promote the good health of users and the natural environments that surround them. My main focus is, therefore, designing for urban thermal comfort and urban microclimates, the relationship between urban microclimates and people’s health, and the impacts of climate change on them all. Whenever possible, I work with industry, stakeholders and citizens to understand where my research can provide useful evidence for contemporary pressing issues.

I have extensive teaching experience both in studio-based and theory-based subjects in architecture, urban planning, urban design, building and city science and landscape architecture. I am interested in exploring new technologies for effective and efficient teaching and learning of design methods and techniques. I also strive to encourage students’ critical thinking and support them in developing as future professionals.

Before USC, I worked at James Cook University (Australia), Lincoln University (New Zealand), as a visiting researcher at the ILS (Institut für Landes- und Stadtentwicklungsforschung gGmbH) (Germany), and at the UFT (Universidade Federal do Tocantins, Brazil). I have work experience as an architect in Rio Grande do Sul State, in the south of Brazil, where I also undertook my BArch and MSc.

Professional Social media:

Professional Memberships

  • PIA – Planning Institute of Australia Affiliate (Acad.) Member
  • Laboratório da Habitação e Inovação – Lab+Hab at Universidade Estadual do Maranhão, São Luis, Brazil
  • CAU-RS – Architecture and Urbanism Accreditation in Brazil

Awards / Fellowships

  • UN-Habitat’s World Urban Campaign Urban Thinkers Campus: Urban livability in tropical Australia through urban diaries and community engagement, 2018
  • PIA Queensland Award for Planning Excellence Category: Public Engagement & Community Planning Award Project: Urban Thinkers Campus – Urban Health & Livability in Tropical Australia, 2018
  • JCU TropEco Partnerships and Engagement Award (Highly Commended) Project: Urban Thinkers Campus – Urban Health & Livability in Tropical Australia, 2018
  • Fulbright Specialist Program (Host Institution) / Project: Promoting urban livability in tropical Australia through urban diaries and community engagement, 2018
  • Blended Learning and Innovation Grant (BLING) – JCU, 2017

Example of work featured in media outlets:

(Full list: https://silviatavares.com/media/)

  • Research Writing Grant - Lincoln University – Faculty of Environment, Society and Design (ESD), 2014
  • PhD Teacher Fellow Scholarship Lincoln University, New Zealand, 2011-2014
  • 48 Hour Design Challenge – Gloucester Street Site Category Award Christchurch City Council, New Zealand, 2011
  • PROCEL Masters Scholarship (Brazil), 2005-2006

Research grants

Grant/Project Name Investigators Funding body & A$ value Year (s)
Blended Learning and Innovation Grant / Blended learning for Studio Teaching Silvia Tavares   2017
JCU Startup Grant Silvia Tavares   2017
Lincoln University Research Writing Grant Silvia Tavares   2014

Research areas

  • Urban thermal comfort
  • Urban microclimates
  • Urban design for microclimate amelioration
  • Urban heat islands and heatwaves
  • The relationship between urban economy and urban microclimates
  • The relationship between urban microclimates and people's health
  • The impacts of climate change on all the above

Teaching areas

  • Urban Design Studio (in multiple scales)
  • Urban Design and Planning History and Theory
  • Landscape Architecture Design Studio
  • Landscape Architecture History and Theory
  • Building and City Science
  • Urban and Landscape Infrastructure
  • Architecture Design Studio
  • Architecture History and Theory

Selected Research Publications

  • Tavares, S., Swaffield, S., & Stewart, E. (2019) A case-based methodology for investigating urban comfort through interpretive research and microclimate analysis in post-earthquake Christchurch, New Zealand. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science, 46 (4). pp. 731-750.
  • Tavares, S. (2018) Public microclimates: thermal outdoor expectations in post-earthquake Christchurch (New Zealand). In: The Urban Microclimate as Artifact: towards an architectural theory of thermal diversity. Birkhäuser, Basel, Switzerland, pp. 82-100.
  • Tavares, S. & Swaffield, S. (2017) Urban comfort in a future compact city: analysis of open-space qualities in the rebuilt Christchurch Central City. Landscape Review, 17 (2). pp. 5-23.
  • Tavares, S. (2017) Conforto urbano: a paisagem fisica e social como constituinte da experiência climática / Urban comfort: the physical and social landscape as constituent of the climate experience. Cadernos do PROARQ, 28. pp. 47-62.
  • Tavares, S.G. (2017). Urban Climate Adaptation through Design and Planning: A New Zealand Perspective. Paper presented at the 10th International Urban Design Conference, 13-15 November, Gold Coast, Australia.
  • Tavares, S. G.; Swaffield, S. R.; Stewart, E. J. (2014). An interpretive and combined methodology for investigating urban comfort in a city undergoing post-disaster transitions. Paper presented at the CELA Annual Meeting, 26-29 March, Baltimore (MD), USA.

Dr Silvia Tavares' specialist areas of knowledge include urban comfort, urban microclimates, bioclimatic urban design, human thermal comfort, and urban design

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