Dr. Louise McKenzie
Position: Sessional academic
Department: 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.
Disciplines: Design, Social Science
- Social Science: Qualitative Social Research, Quantitative Social Research, Urban/Rural Sociology