Researching the Urban Pacific
Associate Professor/Senior Policy Fellow
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The Pacific islands are rapidly becoming more urbanised, with mounting pressures on infrastructure, services and social relations. The Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA) has been running a research program on urbanisation in the Pacific since 2016 as part of its partnership with DFAT for Pacific research and collaborations with Pacific islands government and regional bodies.
The value of the research program on urbanisation was recognised recently when DPA was asked to partner with the peak regional agency, the Pacific Islands Forum, to run a workshop on the regional impacts of urbanisation in the Pacific, drawing together experts from Australia and the region. The workshop, held in Suva in December 2017, was opened by Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum.
Its goal was to help profile academic research, and use it to contribute to future policy development and regional policy frameworks. It highlighted the urban implications of the increasing severity of climate change impacts in densely populated areas with low levels of disaster preparedness; the interrelationships among food, water and land security issues; and the changing political and social relations in urban centres as they become more ethnically and demographically diverse.
The outcomes of the workshop will be presented at the upcoming World Urban Forum in Malaysia during a side-event at the 9th World Urban Forum on SIDS and the New Urban Agenda.