Turenscape's Luming Park, Guzhou, China. Image: Turenscape
Turenscape's Luming Park, Guzhou, China. Image: Turenscape

Event – Living with Water: Design for uncertain times

Today, some cities suffer from rising sea-levels and unprecedented storms and flooding, while others endure drought and depleted aquifers. Living with Water is a full-day symposium that will examine how we can urban build resilience in such uncertain times.

This event is part of Foreground’s Living with Water special series

Water has always played a vital role in human history, enabling trade and agriculture while supporting health and vitality. Yet what happens when water threatens life? Today, some cities suffer from rising sea-levels and unprecedented storms and flooding, while others endure drought and depleted aquifers. How can we build resilience in such uncertain times?

This full-day symposium on 20 March 2018, led by Foreground, in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne School of Design and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, brings together a series of  international and Australian experts, who will explore how design can help mediate the burgeoning new relationships between water, land and our communities.

See Speakers, Schedule, Date, Venue and Tickets below for more information.

NOTE: Members of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects are entitled to six Informal CPD points for attendance at this event.

Speakers: International

Kristina Hill

Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Environmental Planning and Urban Design, University of California, Berkeley, with a primary focus on adapting urban districts and shorezones to the new challenges associated with climate change.

Lykke Leonardsen

Program Director for Resilient and Sustainable City Solutions in Copenhagen, where she is responsible for Copenhagen’s sustainable urbanism, including the city’s US$1.4 billion flood management plan entitled ‘Cloudburst’.

Kongjian Yu

Founder and Dean of the School of Landscape Architecture at Peking University and founding Director of Turenscape, one of the first and largest private architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism practices in China. He is a globally acknowledged leader in the field of flood adaptive landscapes and urban water systems.

Speakers: National

Kirsten Bauer

Kirsten is a Director of ASPECT Studios globally and is based in Melbourne. She is a current member of the Victorian Design Review Panel and a long standing invited lecturer, juror and professional advisor at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University. She is an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University and is currently on the Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee.

Nigel Bertram

Director of NMBW Architecture Studio and Practice Professor of Architecture at Monash University, where he leads research projects seeking new relationships between natural and human-made urban systems. Current projects within the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities investigate the design implications of changing conditions influencing the cities of Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

Tashia Dixon

Principal Urban Designer at Melbourne Water. Tashia has worked in both the public and private sectors around Australia and throughout Asia for the past 18 years. In her current
Role, Tashia is responsible for embedding the Urban Design Program into the broader Melbourne Water business.

Adrian Gray

Manager of Urban Design at Brimbank City Council and the current Victorian State President for the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. He was the inaugural Chair of Greening the West from 2013-2015. With over 20 years of experience as a landscape architect, Adrian has been a leading figure in the transformation of the public realm in Brimbank.

Toby Kent

Chief Resilience Officer at the City of Melbourne, and the first resilience officer in Australia. He has created and implemented resilience and sustainability strategies across a range of sectors, working across government, community and industry stakeholders.

Adrian McGregor

Founding principal of McGregor Coxall with over 25-years of experience working, teaching and writing about urban design, landscape architecture and the environment. McGregor Coxall has delivered numerous projects, both in Australia and China that bring together landscape, water and innovative environmental science.

Ian Shears

Manager Urban Sustainability at City of Melbourne, with 30 years of experience in urban landscapes and urban forestry. He is an experienced practitioner in public open space design, implementation and management. Ian and his teams have been credited with the development of some of Australia’s most progressive environmental policies, programs and projects, and have won many Victorian, Australian and international awards.


Date: Tuesday, 20 March 2018
Venue: Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne


Aquapolis: Effecting change at a city-wide scale

Toby Kent,  Resilient Melbourne/CoM
Lykke Leonardsen, Resilient and Sustainable City Solutions, Copenhagen
Discussion and questions


Design for water: Urban resilience in the age of sea-level rise

Nigel Bertram, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities/MADA
Kristina Hill, University of California, Berkeley
Discussion and questions


From grey to green infrastructure: How water helps make happier, healthier places in Melbourne

Ian Shears, City of Melbourne
Adrian Gray, Brimbank City Council
Tashia Dixon, Melbourne Water
Discussion and questions moderated by Kirsten Bauer, ASPECT Studios


Sponge cities: New urban futures in China and Australia

Adrian McGregor, McGregor Coxall
Kongjian Yu, Turenscape
Discussion and Questions



All ticket purchases include light refreshments for morning and afternoon tea. Attendance at this event attracts six informal CPD points for members of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

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This event forms part of Melbourne Design Week 2018 and is supported by National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne School of Design and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

Part of our Living with Water special series