Joan is Arup’s Climate & Sustainability Leader in Australasia. She specialises in leading multidisciplinary teams that work across environment and economics. Joan is particularly experienced in city-scale and precinct planning for sustainability. Examples of her work include: developing social value assessments for highways; evolving investment planning processes to realise multiple benefits from water infrastructure; and developing the evidence base for sustainability planning requirements in capital cities. One of her recent focus areas has been to increase the quality and quantity of green infrastructure around us, as a critical tool in safeguarding the human and ecological wellbeing of our cities in the coming decades.
Joan is an independent member of the Sustainability Fund committee, which advises the Victorian Government on funding for initiatives that prepare Victoria for its transition to a low carbon, climate-ready and circular economy. Joan also governs Working Heritage, a self-financing entity that repurposes government-owned heritage buildings for community and commercial benefit.
In the aftermath of a storm, new road damage emerges but often old potholes need repairing again. A new health facility is sited on the most affordable land; affordable because the land is flood prone. Developers resort to concrete water drains because there is no long-term, coordinated response across land parcels. These are daily examples that challenge the resilience and recovery efforts of councils, authorities, and developers.
Existing decision-making tools can help us recover quickly from increasingly frequent and intense hazards. But how might these tools help us prepare for these events, to minimise damage?
Globally, organisations are adapting spatial plan-making frameworks, business cases and capital works programs to drive resilience, adaptation and transformational change. Joan will share examples such as the use of planning rules to address urban heat through greening, business cases that value the benefits and costs of climate change adaptation in roads, and how water authorities are reaching beyond their boundaries, to deliver infrastructure with multiple benefits.