"Then I say the Earth belongs to each generation during its course, fully and in its right no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its existence"

Thomas Jefferson, September 6, 1789

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

Buckminster Fuller, philosopher, futurist and global thinker (1895 - 1983)

"If there are to be problems, may they come during my life-time so that I can resolve them and give my children the chance of a good life."

Kenyan proverb

Important notification to participants
As the situation with Covid-19 pandemic situation has deteriorated, the Australian Government has now restricted gatherings of greater than 100 persons and imposed 14 days self-isolation for all international arrivals, and Griffith University has now banned all on site events, the 1st Asia Pacific SDEWES conference will be held fully online.

Please stand by for further information.

Invited lectures

The Importance of Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Wellbeing
Wed / 08.04. @ 11:30

Ecosystems are connected to human well-being in a number of complex ways at multiple time and space scales.  The challenge of ecosystem services science (ESS) is understanding and modeling these connections, with a range of purposes including raising awareness and providing information to decision-makers to allow them to better manage our natural capital assets. In order for ecosystem services  (the benefits provided to humans by ecosystems) to occur, natural capital (natural ecosystems and their products that do not require human activity to build or maintain) must be combined with other forms of capital that do require human intervention to build and maintain. These include: built or manufactured capital, human capital (e.g., human labor and knowledge); and social capital (e.g., communities and cultures).  Thus ESS is inherently an integrated, transdisciplinary science that is concerned with the way these four forms of capital contribute to human well-being and the synergies and trade-offs among them.  The process of valuation of ecosystem services is about quantifying and modeling these synergies and trade-offs to allow better management.   It requires a deeper understanding of the interconnections among human psychology and decision processes, ecosystem processes and functions, and economic production and consumption processes at multiple time and space scales. The challenges of ESS are huge and will require a significantly more transdiscipinary approach than our current academic institutions are comfortable with. But the payoffs are also huge. Our future depends on making rapid progress in this area.

Prof. Robert Costanza
Australian National University
Canberra, Australia

Dr. Robert Costanza is a professor of Ecological Economics and Vice Chancellor’s Chair in Public Policy at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. He is also currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Center, an Affiliate Fellow at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, a deTao Master of Ecological Economics at the deTao Masters Academy, China, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the Royal Society of Arts (UK), and an Ambassador of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance ( WEAll ). Professor Costanza’s transdisciplinary research integrates the study of humans and the rest of nature to address research, policy and management issues at multiple time and space scales, from small watersheds to the global system. His areas of expertise include: ecological economics, ecosystem services, landscape ecology, integrated ecological and socioeconomic modelling, energy and material flow analysis, environmental policy, social traps and addictions, incentive structures and institutions. He is co-founder and past-president of the International Society for Ecological Economics, and founding editor of the society’s journal, Ecological Economics. He currently serves on the editorial board of ten other international academic journals. He is also founding editor of Solutions a unique hybrid academic/popular journal and editor in chief of The Anthropocene Review. Professor Costanza is the author or co-author of over 600 scientific papers and 28 books. His work has been cited more than 100,000 times in Google Scholar with an h-index of 124. More than 350 interviews and reports on his work have appeared in various popular media and he has written over 75 articles for the popular press.

Co-creating infrastructure in an era of dynamic urban densification
Thu / 09.04. @ 11:30

Between now and 2066 Australia’s population will nearly double and 80% of new arrivals will choose to live in major cities and towns. Rather than expanding at the margins Australian capital cities are adopting policies to accommodate much of this population growth through urban renewal and infill redevelopment projects. Urban densification does not occur uniformly across a city and this imposes a significant challenge in the planning and delivery of urban infrastructure.

Climate change and resource constraints amplify these challenges. Recent droughts, floods, and environmental and ecological degradation are stark reminders of how vulnerable Australian cities and towns are to climate change. These events have focused community and business attention on, and heightened expectations that, governments will invest in infrastructure adaptation, delivery and operation that will enhance climate resilience and harnesses technological breakthroughs. Enhanced liveability is also a community expectation in consenting to urban densification. The dynamic interplay of these multiple objectives is driving the shift towards urban systems that are integrated and efficient, flexible and adaptable, sensitive to local environments, and responsive to community values.

Over the last decade, research and field demonstrations of water sensitive cities practices have highlighted their capacity to deliver on the above multiple outcomes. Case studies of hybrid centralised/decentralised systems and grey/green infrastructure for water management in major urban renewal projects in Australian capital cities are presented to illustrate the economic value of these outcomes. These are smaller, site-specific systems that are efficient, effective, value driven, more responsive to development timing and pattern, and thereby quickly embrace opportunities provided by emerging technologies. The scale and scope of such piecewise infrastructure investments create opportunities for greater private sector engagement and partnerships compared with the traditional approach of major trunk infrastructure augmentation to support the urban renewal/intensification process.

There are market and non-market values of the multiple beneficial outputs from such initiatives. Governments cannot do this alone. New business and servicing models for whole-of-government and cross-jurisdictional co-investments, and/or private sector partnerships with governments, will be required. There will be more stakeholders involved and the cost and benefits are unevenly distributed amongst these stakeholders. Models for co-investment and sharing of risk and benefits are not well developed and are constraining innovation.

The presentation aims to seed discussions on the catalysts for collaboration that will drive city transformation in an era of dynamic urban densification. It will consider the policies and regulations needed to unlock more effective public, private and community partnerships. It also outline measures to ensure that actions at the household and precinct scale also deliver a broader city shaping agenda.

Prof. Tony Wong
Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities
Melbourne, Australia

Tony Wong is Professor and Chief Executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, in Melbourne, Australia, since its establishment in 2012. It is a social enterprise that supports the ongoing adoption of water sensitive principles and practices through broader services. A Civil Engineer, with a PhD in Water Resources Engineering, Tony is internationally recognised for his research and practice in sustainable urban water management. He has led a large number of award-winning urban design projects in Australia and overseas and has been commended for having defined "a new paradigm for design of urban environments that blends creativity with technical and scientific rigour”. In October 2010, Tony was presented by the Institution of Engineers, Australia with the prestigious Sir John Holland Award as Australia’s 2010 Civil Engineer of the Year. Tony was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2012. In 2018, Tony received the IWA Global Water Award for his leadership and lifetime achievements in developing the concept of Water Sensitive Urban Design. Tony has over 200 publications and have presented over 75 keynote and invited lectures. Tony provides strategic advice to governments and industry on sustainable urban water management internationally.

Flexibility with Renewable energy penetration
Tue / 07.04. @ 11:30

AbstractWith increased renewable energy penetration, flexibility of the energy systems becomes more important for dynamic balancing of supplies and demands. This lecture focuses on the challenges and opportunities associated with energy transitions, for example, spatial and temporal characterization of energy demand and renewable resources for urban district, smart intervention with the new technologies for consumers into prosumers, and integration of renewable energy with energy storage. We argue that the renewable industry has reached the tipping point of competitive costs. We call for accelerating and promoting market-based distributed energy technologies, energy storage, and smart integration of prosumers to respond energy transition. Dynamics of energy systems with integrated energy storage and interative prosumer participation become more important in the future. 

Prof. Jinyue Yan
Royal Institute of Technology
Stockholm, Sweden

Dr. Yan is professor of Energy Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Mälardalen University, Sweden. He is the director of the Future Energy Profile at supported (ca 10 MEuro) by Swedish Knowledge Foundation together with five industrial partners including ABB. He received his PhD at KTH in 1991. During 2001 to 2005, Dr. Yan was chair professor and head of Energy Engineering at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. Prof. Yan’s research interests include simulation and optimization of advanced energy systems incl. advanced power generation; climate change mitigation technologies and related issues in environment and policy; clean development mechanism (CDM) and renewable energy, especially in biomass energy, and fundamental engineering thermodynamics. Prof. Yan published over 200 papers including the paper in Science and special feature article in ASME Mechanical Engineering. Prof. Yan is editor-in-chief of the international journal, Applied Energy published by Elsevier, and the editor-in-chief of Handbook of Clean Energy Systems published by Wiley. He is conference chairman of the 3rd Int. Green Energy Conference (IGEC-III); Conf. Co‐Chair of IGEC‐IV, Beijing and ICAE2009 (Hong Kong); and Chair of Scientific Committee of ICAE2010 (Singapore), ICAE2011 (Italy), and chair of ICAE2012 (China) and ICAE2013 (South Africa). He is also members/associate editor of several international journals, including Energy, Energy Conversion and Management, Int. J. of Energy Research, Int. J. of Green Energy, Scientific Review (China), and Frontiers of Energy and Power Engineering (Springer). He also serves as the advisory expert to the United Nation, European Union Commission, and Asian Development Bank, and other international organizations; Overseas Assessor of Chinese Academy of Sciences; and academic advisor to Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Benchmarking the performance of cities across energy, water and environment systems
related metrics presents an opportunity to trigger policy learning, action, and cooperation to bring cities closer to sustainable development.