Project description

Dr. Raffaele Pernice will lead the research project “Sydney and Tokyo Waterfronts in an Age of Global Warming”, which has been awarded an Australia Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFTA) - Japan Foundation (AJF) 2021/2022 Grant. The rationale for this new international project lies in the awareness that in the age of climate change and global warming, many waterfront cities in the Asia Pacific Region must deal with increasing challenges caused by the rising sea level and flooding risks. The research project is a critical and comparative study of the design and the development of large-scale waterfront areas in Japan and Australia.

The project contemplates a variety of ad hoc research activities and joint design studios under the guidance of academics from UNSW Sydney – School of Built Environment and Waseda University in Tokyo. In particular, the joint studios aim to foster knowledge exchange and share different design approaches while detecting and interpreting the challenges and opportunities that waterfront cities like Sydney and Tokyo face in this period of climate change. A series of master-level research-led design studios, seminars and workshops orchestrated between Sydney and Tokyo combine into a collaborative investigation with the intention to discuss and compare the problems of the waterfronts in these 2 cities. Reviewing case study sites from Sydney and Tokyo academics and students from UNSW and Waseda University will explore urban design strategies that address infrastructure improvement and disaster mitigation caused by the sea level rise/flooding risks while utilizing this environmental threat as an opportunity to bring back waterfront to residents and raise their awareness towards climate change.

The initial joint studio is schedule in December/January for the cross-disciplinary summer course BEIL6013-Nomad Japan which is open to UG and PG students from different background in the School of Built Environment. The research project will continue in Term 1 and Term 2 for the graduation studio of the Master in Architecture program (Urban Conditions stream) and will culminate in a 1-day international on-line symposium (webinar) in late November 2022, where scholars, practitioners and academics from Australia, Japan and overseas will present an account of the status of art of the waterfront regeneration and urban design practices. An edited book collecting all the essays presented at the symposium will add to the research outputs of the project in 2023.

This 1-day international on-line symposium (webinar) was held on Thursday, 24 November 2022 and co-organized by UNSW Sydney, School of Built Environment and Waseda University, Department of Architecture (Tokyo).

2021 - Research Project: “Sydney and Tokyo Waterfronts in an Age of Global Warming”; Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)/Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF) Grant (Ref. AJF2021113), UNSW Sydney - School of Built Environment (Amount: 15.000 AUD)

The research team comprises Dr Raffaele Pernice (UNSW) 


Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Urbanism Raffaele Pernice
Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Urbanism