Megan Farrelly

Megan Farrelly
Monash University (Australia) · School of Social Sciences

PhD

About

59
Publications
16,867
Reads
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2,614
Citations
Introduction
I am a social scientist/Geographer interested in understanding how experimentation and innovation policies and programs can support institutional and policy change to promote transformations within the functionality and liveability of urban environments. Framed within climate adaptation and resilience-building, I am currently examining the influence of experimentation in multiple sectors (i.e. water, energy, SMEs) with regard to its role in bringing about long-term policy and practice change.
Additional affiliations
January 2018 - present
Monash University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • I am the Human Geography Discipline Lead Chief Investigator in three ARC Discovery Grant research projects (2021-2023) - Tracing Urban Experimentation impact in the water and energy domain - The transformative potential of SMEs - Net Zero Precincts
January 2007 - December 2017
Monash University (Australia)
Position
  • Senior Researcher
March 2002 - November 2006
University of Western Australia
Position
  • Research Fellow, PhD Student
Description
  • Completed my doctoral studies here while working as a part time research fellow on key projects for senior colleagues.
Education
March 2002 - May 2006
University of Western Australia
Field of study
  • Environmental Planning and Management
February 1996 - October 2000
University of Western Australia
Field of study
  • Environmental Science

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
Nature Based Solutions (NBS) are increasingly used for improving water quality, reducing urban flooding and providing ecological and amenity benefits. Although predominantly developed and implemented in industrialised countries, NBS are gaining traction in the Global South. Strategic planning is required to deliver the anticipated benefits and ensu...
Article
Raingardens are increasingly common in sustainable stormwater management in cities around the world. Implementing raingardens will change the appearance of conventional urban streetscapes and this is especially important when retrofitting raingardens into existing streets. Raingardens need to fulfill both technical and aesthetic functions. Aestheti...
Article
Full-text available
The water governance crisis has critical implications for the transformation of cities through establishment of sustainable water management practices. Adaptive governance approaches, with their potential to address global water governance challenges, are emerging in the context of the global South (GS). A key feature of adaptive governance is its...
Article
Purpose Social entrepreneurship (SE) is an emerging social phenomenon gaining tangible traction for its ability to tackle complex social and environmental problems against a backdrop of global sustainability challenges. This paper aims to unpack SE intentions, mindset and motivations to elucidate “why” and “how” social entrepreneurs (SE) initiate,...
Article
Recent developments in high- and middle-income countries have exhibited a shift from conventional urban water systems to alternative solutions that are more diverse in source separation, decentralization, and modularization. These solutions include non-grid, small-grid, and hybrid systems to address such pressing global challenges as climate change...
Article
Growing global consensus around the pressing need for decarbonisation to avert uncertain climate futures has accelerated the transition away from fossil fuels, towards widespread experimentation with distributed energy systems and practices. An investigation of four different microgrid-related experiments in Victoria, Australia revealed a number of...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change together with population growth and land-use change have increased the risk of urban floods. Urban floods cause severe damages to cities and their inhabitants, and they are expected to increase over time. Consequently, urban adaptation is required to shift from traditional infrastructure (grey) to multifunctional infrastructure (blue...
Article
Despite the prominence of cities within sustainability transitions, the scholarship has been criticised for its lack of engagement with spatiality. This article engages with physical change in urban environments through a critical scholarly review of interdisciplinary scholarship. This paper deconstructs conceptualisations of the built environment...
Article
Adaptive governance has been proposed by many scholars as an approach to sustainable resource management, and has subsequently been applied in many countries. While the conceptual origins of adaptive governance have largely emerged from the global North, there has been little critical attention to the utility of adaptive governance concepts in the...
Article
Full-text available
Urban transformations form a central challenge for enabling global pathways towards sustainability and resilience. However, it remains unclear what kind of capacity is needed to deliver urban change that is actually transformative. Against a backdrop of current claims and efforts to achieve urban transformations, this special issue reviews the rela...
Article
The multiple benefits of adopting distributed, green stormwater technologies in the local environment are increasingly recognised, particularly in relation to water quality, flood mitigation, amenity and aesthetics. To advance the integration of these systems into everyday decision-making practices, Planning Support Systems (PSS) are considered vit...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change, population growth and rapid urbanisation have severe implications for cities and the way in which they interact with water. As a response to these challenges the water sensitive cities concept emerged, which supports cities to become more resilient to these challenges while making them more prosperous, sustainable and liveable. A wa...
Article
Transitioning electricity generation sectors to renewable energy is a necessary element of climate change mitigation but a challenging one with years of technical and social lock-in creating considerable inertia and a pace of change insufficient to meet the task. Transition management has emerged as a promising approach to proactively manage and ac...
Article
Within the context of urban transformations, water governance has received global attention due to its growing complexities in responding to wicked and multifaceted challenges, such as rapidly growing populations, increased resource demand and uncertain climate futures. To date, much of the empirical research on water governance and urban transform...
Article
Full-text available
The conservation and management of natural resources operates in social-ecological systems in which resource users are embedded in social and environmental contexts that influence their management decisions. Characterizing social networks of resource users can be used to inform understanding of social influences on decision making, and social netwo...
Conference Paper
Climate change, population growth and rapid urbanisation have severe implications for cities and the way in which they interact with water. As a response to these challenges the water sensitive cities concept emerged, which supports cities to become more resilient to these challenges while making them more prosperous, sustainable and liveable. A wa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Despite the potential of Planning Support Systems to enhance urban planning of green urban water systems, their uptake is limited. This study seeks empirical, qualitative evidence for the causes and potential solutions of low uptake, using in-depth interviews with 24 planning practitioners. Some of the most important findings are that (1) the bigge...
Conference Paper
The application of biofilters for the treatment of stormwater runoff is well-understood with studies currently underway to further improve its treatment reliability not only for improving the health of water bodies but also for harvesting treated stormwater runoff for non-potable usage. This study investigates the potential of extending the use of...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Biofiltration has been shown to be an effective technology for urban stormwater treatment and provides promise for greywater treatment. This paper presents the preliminary results of a laboratory-scale study undertaken to test the viability of a dual-mode stormwater-greywater biofilter. Forty-eight biofilter columns utilising eight different plant...
Article
In the water sensitive city, a hybrid mix of centralised and decentralised water systems and sources will operate at a range of scales to provide sustainable fit-for-purpose water services that will safeguard environmental quality, intergenerational equity and landscape amenity. Governance of these systems is likely to differ from the traditional a...
Article
Innovation in governance for inducing transformative societal change is widely promoted in academic literature, yet there remains a lack of detailed prescription for successfully operationalising these new approaches. Drawing on an Australian urban water planning case study in Sydney, Australia, which resembles the prescriptions of transition manag...
Conference Paper
In the water sensitive city, a hybrid mix of centralized and decentralized water systems and sources will operate at a range of scales to provide fit-for-purpose water services that will safeguard environmental quality, intergenerational equity and landscape amenity. Governance of these systems is likely to differ from the traditional arrangement,...
Article
Today's modern cities' ‘big-pipes in, big-pipes out’ potable water supply approach does not offer society the resilience for adaptation to future climate challenges. One approach towards building resilience would involve cities adopting diverse, alternative water supplies; such as recycled wastewater, greywater and stormwater, within a fit-for-purp...
Article
A shift towards sustainable urban water management is widely advocated but poorly understood. There is a growing body of literature claiming that social learning is of high importance in restructuring conventional systems. In particular, governance experimentation, which explicitly aims for social learning, has been suggested as an approach for ena...
Article
Learning nurtured through experimentation is very important for enabling sustainability transitions. Over the last decade, different strands of research have investigated social learning and its associated processes to better understand learning efforts aimed at socio-technical system change. While some necessary process considerations to enable so...
Article
Full-text available
Governance reforms are required to establish adaptive and resilient urban water resource management that takes into account complexity, uncertainty and immediate and long term change. This paper details the outcomes of a qualitative, social science research project, drawing on insights from Australian urban water practitioners (n = 90) across three...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The emergence of a diverse array of water sources and scales of infrastructure has brought new challenges to existing governance structures. Accordingly, the adoption and performance of decentralised water systems can be improved either through centralised management or through developing new mechanisms for decentralised management. Empirical evide...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper details the outcomes of a qualitative, social science research project, drawing on insights from Australian urban water practitioners (n=90) across three Australian cities to explore the contemporary urban water governance context. The aim of this research is to provide guidance for shifting towards a water sensitive city (WSC) by showin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There is wide recognition of the paradigmatic changes needed to move toward water sensitive cities, and water management discourse often views institutions as barriers to such a shift. Institutions are social constructs which guide and tie societal activities, providing building blocks for collective action. This broader definition of institutions...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Building a pathway to achieve widespread institutionalisation of water sensitive urban design requires, among other elements, a shift in conventional governance and management practices. Current academic scholarship regarding broad governance trends focuses predominantly on appropriate modes and principles for practice, with little attention direct...
Article
The many societal benefits provided by traditional, centralised urban water servicing models are being re-examined following recent extreme weather events, climate uncertainty and other variable socio-technical trends. Total water cycle management offers a more flexible and resilient approach to urban water management, however, transformative chang...
Article
Shifting from traditional, large, centralised infrastructure to alternative, distributed technologies is widely accepted as essential for enabling sustainable water management. Despite technical advances in sustainable urban water management over recent decades, the shift from traditional to more sustainable approaches remains slow. Current researc...
Article
{textlessptextgreatertextless}br/textgreaterThere is widespread acceptance regarding the need to transition towards more sustainable urban water practices. Supporting such a transition requires new governance frameworks that can accommodate complexity and uncertainty, and organisational cultures that embrace experimentation and learning. This empir...
Article
Transitioning to more sustainable urban water management is widely accepted as an essential societal objective. While there has been significant progress in developing technical solutions to the challenges faced, numerous barriers remain at the regime level, indicating that further investigation into the regime is required. This paper reports on a...
Article
Traditional urban water management systems are ill-equipped to address future challenges. Despite policy rhetoric supporting Total Water Cycle Management and the diverse water supply approach, there are many social and institutional barriers to effective implementation. A quantitative online survey with over 1000 practitioners in three Australian c...
Article
In a time of climate uncertainty and drought in Australia, improved urban stormwater quality management practices are required not only for protecting waterway health, but also as a fit-for-purpose supply source. To conceive of urban stormwater as an environmental threat as well as a water supply source requires a substantial shift in our tradition...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable urban water management (SUWM) requires an integrated, adaptive, coordinated and participatory approach. Current urban water policies are beginning to reflect this understanding yet the rhetoric is often not translated to implementation. Despite the 'new' philosophy, urban water management remains a complex and fragmented area relying on...
Article
The sustainable urban water management system is likely to be characterised by complex and flexible governance arrangements, increased inter-organisational interaction and wide stakeholder participation, which contrasts significantly with the traditional approach. Recently there has been significant financial investment in urban water reform, howev...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The adoption of a diverse water supply approach in Australia is a high policy priority; however, the rhetoric is often not translated into effective implementation. Although commentators have long pointed to the social and institutional aspects of urban water management as major constraints, many have failed to collect empirical, experience-based e...
Conference Paper
In a time of climate uncertainty and drought in Australia, improved urban stormwater quality management practices are required not only for protecting waterway health, but also as a fit- for-purpose supply source. To conceive of urban stormwater as an environmental threat as well as a water supply source requires a substantial shift in our traditio...
Article
Since 2002, the Australian Natural Heritage Trust Phase 2 (NHT2) has required community groups seeking funds for natural resource management projects to have developed nationally accredited regional strategies and investment plans. This case study reports on the progress of one such regional (and sub-regional) group, examining in particular the per...
Thesis
Full-text available
Framed in the context of the Australian Government’s funding initiative, the Natural Heritage Trust Phase Two, the thesis evaluates the effectiveness of regional, community-based, integrated environmental planning in Australia. The formation of regional groups, development of regional plans and investment strategies, and the roles of stakeholders i...
Article
Sustainable urban water management (SUWM) requires an integrated, adaptive, coordinated and participatory approach. Current urban water policies are beginning to reflect this understanding yet the rhetoric is often not translated to implementation. Despite the 'new' philosophy, urban water management remains a complex and fragmented area relying on...
Article
Regional planning for and management of the environment and natural resources are the new foci of the Australian Government's funding initiative, the Natural Heritage Trust Phase Two (NHT2). NHT2 attempts to integrate and coordinate the efforts of the many local environmental community groups that work on-ground. By operating at the regional scale,...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
We will be examining the various place-based transitions dynamics that shape the success (or not) of alternatives technologies/practices within the water and energy sector. We will be working within and across the two sectors in Australia to understand how we can engage with alternative urban infrastructure systems to deliver sustainable more resilient urban environments.
Project
The aim of this project is to investigate the role of ‘purpose ecosystems’ in Earth Systems Governance (ESG). Specifically, we seek to explore the role of emerging private sector networks in strengthening the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ESG. Our project will explore the capacity of these purpose ecosystems to drive systemic change through global and local collaborations, partnerships and networks. More importantly, we are interested in their efforts to develop new standards, benchmarks, values and processes for sustainable business models which are critical to changing business as usual.
Project
TRANSFORM is a vibrant and diverse international partnership (reaching across eight countries, 11 universities, and 14 non-academic partners) that will accelerate transitions to sustainability by building capacity in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector while informing novel approaches to the governance of climate change and sustainability in local spaces.