Professor Claudia Baldwin | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Professor Claudia Baldwin

BA, MA (UW, Canada), PhD Qld.

  • Professor, Urban Design and Town Planning & Co-Director Sustainability Research Centre
+61 7 5430 1283
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Claudia Baldwin

Professor Claudia Baldwin has taught regional and urban planning since 2006 at the University of the Sunshine Coast and is a founding members of USC’s Sustainability Research Centre. Claudia uses participatory and visual methods to research institutional and social-environmental change on topics as diverse as water allocation, coastal planning, rural and regional land use, climate change adaptation and community resilience, as well as age- and ability- friendly communities. She has published over 50 journal articles and three books.

The book, Natural Hazards and Disaster Justice: Challenges for Australia and its Neighbours, co-edited with A Lukasiewicz is due for publication in early 2020. Her recent article in The Conversation was about heat stress and seniors. The book, Integrated Water Planning: Achieving Sustainable Outcomes (2014) by Baldwin and Hamstead is based around the need for appropriate evidenced-based water planning in developed and developing countries. The project Infill Development for Older Australians in South East Queensland, won the 2012 Planning Institute of Australia (Qld), Excellence Award for Cutting Edge Research and Teaching, and the International Association of Public Participation Australasian 2013 Core value award for participatory research.

Claudia has collaborated regionally with agencies such as Gympie Council, Maleny Neighbourhood Centre, and Noosa Biosphere Reserve; as well as internationally – with a team of researchers (from USA, Canada, UK, Thailand, and Australia) to work on social–ecological visualisation of coastal change, coordinated and funded by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center at University of Maryland; and colleagues at University of Mataram, Indonesia and Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenya on water planning research.

Prior to joining academia in 2006, Claudia worked for over 25 years in land-use and environmental policy and planning in Australian federal and Queensland state governments (GRMPA, Qld Premiers Dept and Qld DNRM) as well as in consulting both within Australia (NWC) and overseas (IAP2, WWF). Because of this, she is passionate about applied research and in preparing planning students for the ‘real world’. She was co-leader of the multi-university Commonwealth-funded Experiential Learning in Planning project.

Academic appointments

  • Adjunct Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC), Brock University, Canada
  • Honorary Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, University of Queensland, Brisbane

Professional memberships

  • Fellow, Planning Institute of Australia (PIA)
  • Associate editor and book review editor of the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management
  • Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ)  
  • International Association of Public Participation (IAP2)


  • Fellow, Planning Institute of Australia 2019, in recognition of conspicuous service to the profession, through contributing to ‘standards of competency, knowledge of members through education, training and research, and promoting the exchange of information and views in the community relating to planning issues and sustainable use of land’, 2019.
  • Research All-Rounder Award for service, external engagement, and research impact and activity, University of the Sunshine Coast 2018
  • Best journal article, in the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management in 2014 – the 'Eric Anderson award from the EIANZ for Curtis A, Ross H, Marshall G, Baldwin C, Cavaye J, Freeman C, Carr A and Syme G 2014, ‘The great experiment with devolved NRM governance: lessons from community engagement in Australia and New Zealand since the 1980s’, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 21 (2), pp. 175-199.
  • 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, USC
  • Travel award, CRC Irrigation Futures, 2012, collaboration on Lombok water research

Potential research project areas 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 Higher Degree Research students

  • Anna McKinlay - Drivers influencing dwelling size – PhD, principal supervisor
  • Pornsiri Cheevapattananuwong (Fa) - The effect of environmental change and water security on rural community areas from economic development plans: A Case Study of Thailand – PhD, supported by Thai government scholarship, principal supervisor
  • Lisa McIlwain – Opportunities to strengthen socio-economic resilience as a strategy of climate change adaptation – PhD, supported by Brock Uni/USC scholarship, principal supervisor
  • Patrick Bonney - Citizens as monitors -Crowdsourcing for water policy development - PhD, Federation University, supported by Corangamite Catchment Management Authority scholarship, co-supervisor
  • Sarah Windred – Two sides of the story: exploring the experiences and perspectives of child domestic workers and their employers in Indonesia – PhD, co-supervisor
  • Jonathon Raikes – Disaster risk reduction and the SDGs: pre-disaster governance for integrated management in Canada and Australia – PhD, supported by APA scholarship, co-supervisor.
  • Miguel Frohlich – Towards adaptive coastal management law: Lessons from Australia and Brazil, PhD co-supervisor.
  • Isabelle Oude-Egberink - The Impacts of Farmer Organisations for Women in Preah Vihear, Cambodia – Masters, co-supervisor
  • Lorraine Swan – The impacts of climate change on local industry in the Sunshine Coast region – Masters, co-supervisor
  • Louisa-Anne Buwalda – Best practice female-driven aid delivery and recovery – building women’s resilience in Indonesia – Masters, co-supervisor

Research grants

Project name Investigators Funding body Year Focus
Behaviour change in response to a water allocation demand management pilot C Baldwin, H Fairweather and V Uhlmann Gympie Regional Council Water Business Unit 2019 Self-regulation of flexible water use arrangements
Investigating social acceptance for the wild catch commercial fishing industry of Southeast Queensland C Baldwin, S Connor, and E Perez Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, grant 2017-012, in partnership with Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) 2018 Identifying means of engagement to build social licence
Noosa Rural Enterprise Plan Research C Baldwin and J Hamerlinck Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation, in partnership with Country Noosa 2018 Attitudes and land use in Noosa hinterland
Innovative Housing Solutions for Aging in Place in Maleny K Dendle and C Baldwin

Advancing Queensland: age-friendly community grants program, via Maleny Neighbourhood Centre

2018 Affordable housing for seniors through co-sharing
Tourism for all abilities on the Sunshine Coast C. Baldwin, A. Ripoll   2016 Extent that Sunshine Coast tourism businesses cater for tourists with disabilities
Mobility and inclusion of all ages and all abilities in neighbourhoods C. Baldwin, L. Stafford, L. Keenan USC, University of Alberta 2015 Issues in Sunshine Coast neighbourhoods for seniors and young people with disabilities
Developing an integrated framework to visually model vulnerability and resilience of the coupled human–natural environment in tropical coastal systems for climate adaptation planning E. Hines, R. Lewison, M. Rudd, C. Baldwin, C. Jones, S. Lieske and others USA NSF via SESYNC, University of Maryland 2014–2016 Models for social–ecological resilience in Thailand–Cambodia cross-border coast
Visualisation approaches for climate change adaptation C. Baldwin, S. Lieske, K. Martin USC, Sunshine Coast Council; Coastal collaboration 2013–2015 Using visual methods for communicating about climate change
Perception and communication of flood risk C. Baldwin, Zeng Yu CASS Beijing; USC collaboration grant 2014–2015 Comparison of flooding in Beijing and SEQ
Comparative studies on age-friendly communities – Bendigo C. Baldwin, L. Stafford USC Collaboration Grant 2015 Collaboration with Bendigo Regional Council
Justice, Fairness and Equity in Natural Resource Management A. Lukasiewicz, S. Dovers, C. Baldwin ASSA 2015 Workshop to synthesise research on justice in NRM and identify future needs
Social dimensions of land–sea scape planning C. Jacobson, C. Baldwin, T. Smith CRN 2013–2015 To identify motivation for riparian stewardship by rural landholders
Valuing third sector sustainability organisations A Lyth, C. Baldwin, P Fidelman CRN 2013–2015 To identify how TSSOs contribute to social change
Creative models of accommodation for older Australians in infill development C Baldwin, L. Buys (QUT), C. Osborne 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 C. Baldwin 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 C. Baldwin 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 M. Hamstead, C. Baldwin, V. Uhlmann National Water Commission 2010 To review progress of jurisdictions towards NWI commitments.
Water Planning Tools P.-L. Tan, S. Jackson, C. Baldwin, D George, S. Hoverman 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 C. Baldwin and L. Chandler 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 M. Hamstead and C. Baldwin Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts, Northern Territory 2008 To examine water planning in NT case studies and recommend good practices for future planning.
Inter-jurisdictional analysis of community-based governance arrangements for water resource management in Western Australia C. Baldwin and M. Hamstead 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 M. Hamstead, C. Baldwin, V. O'Keefe 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  C. Baldwin 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 V. Twyford and C. Baldwin, with IAP2 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) 2006 To identify good practices of community engagement for dam development using case studies from around the world.

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

Teaching areas

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

Professor Claudia Baldwin's specialist areas of knowledge include participation and community-based engagement; regional, environmental, and urban planning; sustainability; coastal/water/natural resource planning; water planning and management; and age and ability friendly communities.

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