Nov. 24, 2021

Eco-innovation at the peri-urban edge – Dr Roger Attwater

Eco-innovation at the peri-urban edge – Dr Roger Attwater

Welcome to the second of two ‘peri-urban’ stories from Greater Sydney. Stories about people who are helping build resilience, grow food, inspire change and enable change-making communities of practice in diverse ways. Listen in to my conversation with Roger to hear about innovative applied research and ecological services at the urban edge, closeby to the Blue Mountains where Farm It Forward featured last week are based.   


Dr. Roger Attwater is the Senior Manager, Environmental Sustainability, Office of Estate and Commercial at Western Sydney University and is passionate about his work and optimistic about what can and is being done to build resilience and sustain healthy ecosystems and communities at the edge of our cities where climate impacts and development pressures meet.   


Sydney’s Hawkesbury Nepean diverse peri-urban region has been at the receiving end of successive extreme events – drought, bushfires, and flood all within two years. It’s also home to diverse agriculture and horticulture, a key part of Sydney’s food bowl, and to one of Australia’s oldest agricultural colleges, now part of the Western Sydney University Hawkesbury campus.


Hawkesbury campus is delivering a best practice demonstration of peri-urban landscape management incorporating integrated educational pathways through the Centre of Excellence in Peri-Urban Futures, practical demonstrations of strategies for climate change risks, and sustainability and industry partnerships.


The campus footprint of 1,400 hectares includes a built campus of 300 hectares, commercial farm and environmental assets of 600 hectares, and 400 hectares of remnant Cumberland Plain vegetation.


Both the Hawkesbury Water Recycling Scheme and the Hawkesbury Farm are long-established Living Labs for teaching, research, and demonstration. Water recycling connects risk management needs in the fragmented peri-urban landscape, with benefits reflected through the water cycle.


A great conversation about inspiring things that are underway – thank you, Roger!



Western Sydney University – Environmental Sustainability:

WSU Living Labs & more:

Nourishing Matters: nourishingmatterstochewon

Foodswell: foodswellaustralia


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