Dr Louise Rachel McKenzie
Casual Academic

Dr Louise Rachel McKenzie

2017    PhD, Faculty of Built Environment, UNSW, Sydney

2003    Master of the Built Environment (Sustainable Development), UNSW, Sydney

1993    Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (Hons), UNSW, Sydney

1983    General Nursing Certificate, Sydney Hospital, Sydney

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Built Environment

I am a sessional academic in the Landscape Architecture Program, School of the Built Environment, UNSW. My research and practice focus on healthy built environments and climate change impacts - particularly built environment design responses to mitigating and adapting to heat. My work focuses on heat-vulnerability, behaviour and comfort in public spaces, aging populations, and disadvantaged urban areas. Community development and community-cultural based processes are central to my study and practice.

My expertise is interdisciplinary, bridging health and built environment sectors. I initially trained and worked as a registered nurse. As a landscape architect, I have worked in a senior role in local government on capital works, openspace planning and community development programs, including greenspace and recreation corridors, towncentres, community and recreation facilities. I advise on healthy built environments for the Health, Arts and Research Centre (HARC), implementing arts and culture programs in health settings.

My PhD research examines the influence of hot weather and heatwaves on outdoor behaviour and comfort, and designing health-supportive environments in warming cities. My case study is a disadvantaged area in Western Sydney, Australia.

I am a member of the 'APRU Vulnerable Communities and Climate Justice' Working Group. I am also a member of the Built Environment team for the 'UNSW-Yuwaya Ngarra-Li Partnership' with the Dharriwaa Elders Group (DEG) in Walgett, western NSW. Led by the DEG, I have assisted with projects related to heat/ walkability and public health, potable water kiosks, community garden initiatives, and recreation spaces for children and young people.


  • Book Chapters | 2020
    Dr Louise Rachel McKenzie
    McKenzie L; Thompson S, 2020, 'Resilience in a warming climate: Public place‐making for health and well‐being in hot cities', in Bishop K; Marshall N (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of People and Place in the 21st Century City, Routledge, New York, pp. 282 - 293
    Book Chapters | 2015
    Dr Louise Rachel McKenzie
    McKenzie L, 2015, 'Hotter cities - climate change and planning for resilient, healthy urban environments', in Barton H; Thompson S; Burgess S; Grant M (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Planning for Health and Well-Being, Routledge, NY, pp. 254 - 270
  • Reports | 2020
    Dr Louise Rachel McKenzie
    McKenzie L; Rahmat H; Corkery L; Marshall N; Bishop K; Thompson S; Steinmetz C; Park M; Tietz C, 2020, Heat Study for ChillOUT Hubs: Implications for Design and Use
  • Conference Presentations | 2018
    Dr Louise Rachel McKenzie
    McKenzie L, 2018, 'The influence of heat on everyday use of outdoor public space and implications for adaptive city design and planning', presented at 5th International Climate Change Adaptation Conference - Adaptation Futures 2018: Dialogues for Solutions, Capetown, South Africa, 18 June 2018 - 21 June 2018
    Conference Presentations | 2010
    Dr Louise Rachel McKenzie
    Mckenzie LR, 2010, 'Wattle, Red Clay and Papyrus: Landscapes of Western Sydney', presented at 5th International Conference on the Arts in Society, Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University, Australia, 22 July 2010 - 25 July 2010
    Conference Posters | 2010
    Dr Louise Rachel McKenzie
    Mckenzie LR, 2010, 'Thermal Stress and Microclimatic Adaptation of Outdoor Public Space', Gold Coast, Australia, presented at International Climate Change Adaptation Conference 'Climate Adaptation Futures', Gold Coast, Australia, 29 June 2010 - 01 July 2010