Research projects


Adaptation is a social learning process that requires multi-disciplinary collaboration. Researchers work closely with all levels of government, industry and the community to ensure that outputs are relevant and co-learning occurs between researchers and practitioners.

Our research programs aim to:

  • Improve government and community understanding about the potential impacts and opportunities of climate change and adaptation options
  • Improve government capacity in policy and decision making.

VCCCAR facilitates a number of other activities to facilitate learning and sharing understanding and experiences of adaptation.

  • Think Tanks
  • Informal conversations on key topics
  • An international Visiting Fellowship
  • An Annual Forum.

Our current areas of research are:

  • Governance, framing and implementation
  • Resilient urban systems
  • Decision making under uncertainty
  • Natural resource management in a changing climate.


Governance, framing and implementation

Framing multi-level and multi-actor adaptation responses in the Victorian context

The major output of this project was the development of the Adaptation Navigator, a web-based guidance framework designed to assist administrators and decision-makers in local government and other institutions to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Navigator was developed to proof of concept stage and VCCCAR is exploring funding options to enable the Navigator to be fully developed.

Governance models for adaptation and natural disaster risk management: legal, regulatory, institutional and financial assessment

This project is investigating Victorian legal, financial and institutional frameworks for managing the risks of extreme events and natural disasters and make recommendations for incorporating decision-making under the uncertainty introduced by climate risk.

Cogenerating knowledge in research and policy

Examining and testing approaches to engagement between researchers and policy makers in evidence-influenced policy development

Resilient urban systems

Resilient urban systems: a socio-technical study of community scale climate change adaptation initiatives

The aim of the Resilient Urban Systems project was to improve understanding of motivations to develop new systems of energy and water provision, opportunities and barriers to implementation and changes in practice resulting from these new systems.

Climate change poses significant risks to Victorian communities through expected impacts on energy and water infrastructure. Droughts and bushfires provide ready examples of ways in which energy and water systems are already vulnerable to existing climatic conditions and may be expected to become increasingly vulnerable in the future.

Responding to the urban heat island: optimising the implementation of green infrastructure

The aim of this project is to assess the effectiveness of different green infrastructure systems for urban cooling and develop decision-making guidance for urban land managers to optimise the selection and implementation of green infrastructure options.

Design-led decision support for regional climate change

This VCCCAR sponsored project takes a new approach to climate change adaptation at the local government scale, addressing the question “What could a ‘climate-proof’ future look like?” using a design process to address problems of future uncertainty and risk.

Decision making under uncertainty

Building common understanding of scenario based strategies to inform climate change adaptation

The Scenarios for Climate Adaptation project aimed to strengthen knowledge about the most effective ways to develop and use scenario based strategies to improve climate change adaptation decision making, drawing on the experience of Victorian climate adaptation policy makers and practitioners.

Enhancing water infrastructure provision with climate change uncertainty

The aim of this project is to apply alternative models of economic analysis under uncertainty to a range of water infrastructure investment projects across Victoria, to assess appropriate policy options for water utilities, regulators and other government agencies. The aim is to improve the provision of water supply infrastructure by accounting explicitely for the prospects for climate change.

Decision taking under uncertainty

The VCCCAR funded project 'Decision taking under uncertainty: towards an efficient strategy to manage risk and uncertainty in climate change' will use the Gippsland region to analyse the process of regional planning and how knowledge of climate change impacts and adaptation options is used in decision-making.

Natural resource management in a changing climate

Policies and governance for integrated landscape management

The aim of the 'Understanding policies and governance for integrated landscape management in a changing environment project' is to explore barriers and investigate options for success implementation of integrated landscape management across a transect of landscape types, uses and management from highly modified peri-urban to natural ecosystems.

Learning from Indigenous and traditional community knowledge

This project addresses the question: how research based on the deep knowledge of country can inform an understanding of the competing demands on finite and diminishing water resources to satisfy social, economic, legal, environmental and cultural outcomes in the Murray-Darling?

Comprehensive Carbon Assessment Project (CCAP)

The Comprehensive carbon assessment project is assessing above- and below-ground carbon stocks to improve carbon accounting in Victoria's managed native forest estate and analyse drivers of carbon dynamics (e.g. fire) and the implications for climate change adaptation.