New Chair in Resilient Cities for world’s most liveable city

Professor Lars Coenen
Professor Lars Coenen is the inaugural Chair in Resilient Cities

The University of Melbourne and City of Melbourne today announced internationally recognised scholar Lars Coenen as the inaugural Chair in Resilient Cities.

The two organisations will jointly fund the position over a five-year period to help combine their expertise on improving resilience, enhance Melbourne’s role as a leader in knowledge based urban resilience, leverage opportunities to attract research funding and provide a new model for collaborative research.

Professor Coenen, who will take up the position in the coming weeks, will be based in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning and work closely with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) and the City of Melbourne’s Chief Resilience Officer.

Professor Coenen’s last position was Professor at the Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy (CIRCLE) at Lund University in Sweden.

MSSI Director Brendan Gleeson said the Chair will look at urban resilience and identify and seek new partnerships including enhancing student opportunities to build world class teaching and research programs.

“Professor Coenen has a global reputation in the field of innovation studies. His particular expertise is the sustainability innovations needed to future-proof cities and contribute to their safety and liveability in the face of environmental changes and the many economic and social challenges these raise,” Professor Gleeson said.

“He has a sterling track record of leading collaborations between government, industry, communities and researchers in quest of solutions to urban resilience problems.

"As his research has shown, these challenges can be turned into opportunities, including new economic prospects, when innovation becomes the focus of city policy. We are delighted to welcome Professor Coenen to Melbourne where resilience and innovation are the new watchwords of policy and practice.”

Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said Professor Coenen would boost Melbourne’s Knowledge City credentials.

“We look forward to Professor Coenen’s insights into global perspectives that can impact on resilience building and policy making,” Cr Doyle said.

“A first for the City of Melbourne and the University of Melbourne, this new position will complement our work with the Rockefeller Foundation on the 100 Resilient Cities initiative and ensure we continue to be a world leader in the areas of liveability and resilience.”